Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cells Tissues Organs. 2013 ; 197(1): 14–26.


Copyright 2013 Noriega et al.


The impact of low intensity diffuse ultrasound (LIDUS) stimulation on the cytoskeletal organization of chondrocytes seeded in 3D scaffolds was evaluated. Chondrocytes seeded on 3D chitosan matrices were exposed to LIDUS at 5.0 MHz (~15kPa, 51-secs, 4-applications/day) in order to study the organization of actin, tubulin and vimentin. The results showed that actin presented a cytosolic punctuated distribution, tubulin presented a quasi parallel organization of microtubules whereas vimentin distribution was unaffected. Chondrocytes seeded on 3D scaffolds responded to US stimulation by the disruption of actin stress fibers and were sensitive to the presence of ROCK inhibitor (Y27632). The gene expression of ROCK-I, a key element in the formation of stress fibers and mDia1, was significantly up-regulated under the application of US. We conclude that the results of both the cytoskeletal analyses and gene expression support the argument that the presence of punctuated actin upon US stimulation was accompanied by the up-regulation of the RhoA/ROCK pathway.