Our dynamic cell stretching culture systems, accessories, and disposables help researchers to design, observe and deliver results to further advance the fields of mechanobiology and tissue engineering.
“Cells were seeded on flexible silicone-bottom plates (Flexcell® Tension System) at a density of 3 × 105 cells per well. Pathologically elevated cyclic stretch increased the secretion of miR-27a, which was transferred from VSMCs to ECs via the VSMC-MPs, subsequently targeted GRK6, and induced EC proliferation. Locally decreasing miR-27a could be a novel therapeutic approach to attenuate the abnormal EC proliferation in hypertension.”
“A Flexcell® Compression Plus system was used to enable longer-term compression of multicellular aggregates (MCAs) in custom-designed hydrogel carriers. Results show changes in the expression of genes related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition as well as altered dispersal of compressed MCAs on collagen gels.”
“The study of fluid shear as a driving force for cell migration, i.e., "flowtaxis", and investigation of molecular mechanosensors governing such behavior (e.g., ROCK as tested in this study) may provide new and improved insights into the fundamental understanding of cell migration-based homeostasis. The flow regimens could be controlled by the peristaltic pump and the Osci-Flow device, which were governed by StreamSoft v. 4.1 software provided by Flexcell® International Corp.”
Everyday movement and natural processes exert physical forces (i.e., tension, compression, or fluid shear) on cells and tissues within the body. Cells detect and respond to these mechanical stimulations via various biochemical pathways termed mechanotransduction. Understanding the various signaling mediators, proteins, genes, and other factors involved in mechanotransduction is key to developing new therapies and drugs. The field of mechanobiology studies how these physical factors impact the process of mechanotransduction at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels.
Flexcell’s® Tension Systems are patented, computer-regulated bioreactors that apply cyclic or static strain to cells cultured in vitro. Flexcell® Tension Systems are designed to help researchers analyze biochemical changes in response to tensile load on a variety of cell culture applications, including muscle, lung, heart, vascular vessels, skin, tendon, ligament, cartilage, and bone. Our Tension Systems work with UniFlex® (Uniaxial strain) and/or BioFlex® (Equibiaxial strain) culture plates.
Flexcell’s® Compression System regulates positive air pressure to compress tissue samples or 3D cell cultures in vitro. The FX-5000C™ Compression System compresses samples between a piston and stationary platen using our BioPress™ culture plates. It can load up to 14 lbs. of applied force. Using the FX-5000C™ Compression System, researchers can observe biochemical changes and cell signaling in vitro that mimics in vivo conditions.
The Streamer® is a fluid shear stress device allowing users to regulate fluid shear stress to cells in culture with laminar, pulsatile, or oscillating flow. Flexcell’s® Streamer® System uses a computer-controlled peristaltic pump. Together with the Osci-Flow® Flow Controller, researchers can regulate the frequency of oscillation or pulsatile patterns based on shear stress level applied from 0-35 dynes/cm2. Flexcell’s® Fluid Shear System is designed to allow users to observe biochemical changes, cell migration and signaling under fluid shear load in vitro.
Single-well devices designed to allow the user to observe signaling responses to strain in real time on a microscope stage. The StageFlexer® is designed to strain cells in monolayer while viewing the cellular activity under a microscope. The StagePresser™ is designed to compress a single tissue sample or cell-seeded construct in 3D culture while viewing the cellular activity under a microscope. The FlexFlow™ is a parallel plate laminar flow device designed to apply fluid shear stress and/or cyclic strain to cells in culture while providing a means for viewing cell activity under a microscope in real time.
Flexcell® has designed a full line of tissue engineering accessories to aid in load application, cell seeding placement plus biologicals to create hydrogel matrices and scaffolds.
Cell Seeders allow users to plate cells in the central region of the culture plates. Loading Stations help prevent undefined strain on cells. Trough Loaders are special molds for creating various shaped 3D cell-seeded gel constructs with the Tissue Train® Culture System.
Our specially designed flexible-bottomed 6-well and 24-well culture plates are offered in a range of protein coatings: Untreated, Amino, Collagen (Type I and IV), Elastin, Pronectin (RGD) and Laminin (YIGSR) that save the researcher time and money. The rubber membranes in our culture plates are optically clear for direct viewing of cells. BioFlex® culture plates are used with our Flexcell® Tension Systems to apply equibiaxial load. UniFlex® culture plates are used with our Flexcell® Tension Systems to apply uniaxial load. BioPress™ culture plates used with the Flexcell® Compression System to apply up to 14 lbs. of compression force.