Concurrent shear stress and chemical stimulation of mechano-sensitive cells by discontinuous dielectrophoresis

R. Soffe, S. Baratchi, S.-Y. Tang, A. Mitchell, P. McIntyre, K. Khoshmanesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Microfluidic platforms enable a variety of physical or chemical stimulation of single or multiple cells to be examined and monitored in real-time. To date, intracellular calcium signalling research is, however, predominantly focused on observing the response of cells to a single mode of stimulation; consequently, the sensitising/desensitising of cell responses under concurrent stimuli is not well studied. In this paper, we provide an extended Discontinuous Dielectrophoresis procedure to investigate the sensitising of chemical stimulation, over an extensive range of shear stress, up to 63 dyn/cm2, which encompasses shear stresses experienced in the arterial and venus systems (10 to 60 dyn/cm2). Furthermore, the TRPV4-selective agonist GSK1016790A, a form of chemical stimulation, did not influence the ability of the cells' to remain immobilised under high levels of shear stress; thus, enabling us to investigate shear stress stimulation on agonism. Our experiments revealed that shear stress sensitises GSK1016790A-evoked intracellular calcium signalling of cells in a shear-stimulus dependent manner, as observed through a reduction in the cellular response time and an increase in the pharmacological efficacy. Consequently, suggesting that the role of TRPV4 may be underestimated in endothelial cells—which experience high levels of shear stress. This study highlights the importance of conducting studies at high levels of shear stress. Additionally, our approach will be valuable for examining the effect of high levels of shear on different cell types under different conditions, as presented here for agonist activation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number024117
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2016


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