Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 45, No. 4, April 2017 (copyright 2016) pp. 898–909


Copyright 2016 The Author(s).

Open access

DOI: 10.1007/s10439-016-1750-z


Exposure of endothelial cells to low and multidirectional blood flow is known to promote a pro-atherogenic phenotype. The mechanics of the vessel wall is another important mechano-stimulus within the endothelial cell environment, but no study has examined whether changes in the magnitude and direction of cell stretch can be pro-atherogenic. Herein, we developed a custom cell stretching device to replicate the in vivo stretch environment of the endothelial cell and examined whether low and multidirectional stretch promote nuclear translocation of NF-kB. A fluid–structure interaction model of the device demonstrated a nearly uniform strain within the region of cell attachment and a negligible magnitude of shear stress due to cyclical stretching of the cells in media. Compared to normal cyclical stretch, a low magnitude of cyclical stretch or no stretch caused increased expression of nuclear NF-kB (p = 0.09 and ppp