Electrical stimulation changes human mesenchymal stem cells orientation and cytoskeleton organization

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Sahba Mobini
  • Ülle Linda Talts
  • Ruikang Xue
  • Nigel Cassidy
  • Sarah H. Cartmell

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Manchester


Electricity, as a physical stimulus, is recently becoming an attractive tool for
tissue engineering. In this study we simulated the electrical field delivered by a
simplified electro-bioreactor, using finite element analysis. In addition, human
mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) were cultured in an electro-bioreactor and
an electrical field of 100 mV/mm for 1 hour per day was applied. The cell profile,
orientation and cytoskeleton changes by CellProfiler was analysed at 1, 2, 3
and 7 days. The cytoskeleton texture of cells exposed to electrical stimulation
was also compared with cells exposed to chemical stimulation during an early
phase of osteogenic differentiation. Results showed that hMSCs orientation
and cytoskeleton actin filaments reorganize perpendicular to the electrical field
in the vicinity of the cathode area at day 7. This finding and analysis method
has the potential to provide a framework for future studies of mechanism
underlying the changes in cell profile in electrical fields.


Original languageEnglish
Article number16-832-R
Pages (from-to)829-833
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Electrical stimulation, Cell orientation, Computational modelling, Cytoskeleton reorganization