Format of Original
Journal of Biomechanics
Original Item ID
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.12.028, PubMed Central: PMC2866761
Fluid shear stress (FSS) is an important stimulus for cell functions. Compared with the well established parallel-plate and cone-and-plate systems, a rocking “see-saw” system offers some advantages such as easy operation, low cost, and high throughput. However, the FSS spatiotemporal pattern in the system has not been quantified. In the present study, we developed a lubrication-based model to analyze the FSS distributions in a rocking rectangular culture dish. We identified an important parameter (the critical flip angle) that dictates the overall FSS behaviors and suggested the right conditions to achieving temporally oscillating and spatially relatively uniform FSS. If the maximal rocking angle is kept smaller than the critical flip angle, which is defined as the angle when the fluid free surface intersects the outer edge of the dish bottom, the dish bottom remains covered with a thin layer of culture medium. The spatial variations of the peak FSS within the central 84% and 50% dish bottom are limited to 41% and 17%, respectively. The magnitude of FSS was found to be proportional to the fluid viscosity and the maximal rocking angle, and inversely proportional to the square of the fluid depth-to-length ratio and the rocking period. For a commercial rectangular dish (length of 37.6 mm) filled with ∼2 mL culture medium, the FSS at the center of the dish bottom is expected to be on the order of 0.9 dyn/cm2 when the dish is rocked +5° at 1 cycle/s. Our analysis suggests that a rocking “see-saw” system, if controlled well, can be used as an alternative method to provide low-magnitude, dynamic FSS to cultured cells.