Optimization of loading protocols for tissue engineering experiments

Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 24;12(1):5094. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-08849-y.


Tissue engineering (TE) combines cells and biomaterials to treat orthopedic pathologies. Maturation of de novo tissue is highly dependent on local mechanical environments. Mechanical stimulation influences stem cell differentiation, however, the role of various mechanical loads remains unclear. While bioreactors simplify the complexity of the human body, the potential combination of mechanical loads that can be applied make it difficult to assess how different factors interact. Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells were seeded within a fibrin-polyurethane scaffold and exposed to joint-mimicking motion. We applied a full factorial design of experiment to investigate the effect that the interaction between different mechanical loading parameters has on biological markers. Additionally, we employed planned contrasts to analyze differences between loading protocols and a linear mixed model with donor as random effect. Our approach enables screening of multiple mechanical loading combinations and identification of significant interactions that could not have been studied using classical mechanobiology studies. This is useful to screen the effect of various loading protocols and could also be used for TE experiments with small sample sizes and further combinatorial medication studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Bioreactors
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Tissue Engineering* / methods
  • Tissue Scaffolds


  • Biocompatible Materials