The aim of this study was to evaluate if low-frequency, low-magnitude vibrations (LFLM) could enhance chondrogenic differentiation potential of human adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs) with simultaneous inhibition of their adipogenic properties for biomedical purposes. We developed a prototype device that induces low-magnitude (0.3 g) low-frequency vibrations with the following frequencies: 25, 35 and 45 Hz. Afterwards, we used human adipose derived mesenchymal stem cell (hASCS), to investigate their cellular response to the mechanical signals. We have also evaluated hASCs morphological and proliferative activity changes in response to each frequency. Induction of chondrogenesis in hASCs, under the influence of a 35 Hz signal leads to most effective and stable cartilaginous tissue formation through highest secretion of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 (BMP-2), and Collagen type II, with low concentration of Collagen type I. These results correlated well with appropriate gene expression level. Simultaneously, we observed significant up-regulation of α3, α4, β1 and β3 integrins in chondroblast progenitor cells treated with 35 Hz vibrations, as well as Sox-9. Interestingly, we noticed that application of 35 Hz frequencies significantly inhibited adipogenesis of hASCs. The obtained results suggest that application of LFLM vibrations together with stem cell therapy might be a promising tool in cartilage regeneration.
Keywords: Adipogenesis; Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells; Chondrogenesis; Low-magnitude low-frequency vibration stimulation.