Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Mechanical impact stimulation platform tailored for high-resolution light microscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


High frequency (HF) mechanical vibration has been used in vitro to study the cellular response to mechanical stimulation and induce stem cell differentiation. However, detailed understanding of the effect of the mechanical cues on cellular physiology is lacking. To meet this limitation, we have designed a system, which enables monitoring of living cells by high-resolution light microscopy during mechanical stimulation by HF vibration or mechanical impacts. The system consists of a commercial speaker, and a 3D printed sample vehicle and frame. The speaker moves the sample in the horizontal plane, allowing simultaneous microscopy. The HF vibration (30–200 Hz) performances of two vehicles made of polymer and aluminum were characterized with accelerometer. The mechanical impacts were characterized by measuring the acceleration of the aluminum vehicle and by time lapse imaging. The lighter polymer vehicle produced higher HF vibration magnitudes at 30–50 Hz frequencies than the aluminum vehicle. However, the aluminum vehicle performed better at higher frequencies (60–70 Hz, 90–100 Hz, 150 Hz). Compatibility of the system in live cell experiments was investigated with epithelial cells (MDCKII, expressing Emerald-Occludin) and HF (0.56 Gpeak, 30 Hz and 60 Hz) vibration. Our findings indicated that our system is compatible with high-resolution live cell microscopy. Furthermore, the epithelial cells were remarkable stable under mechanical vibration stimulation. To conclude, we have designed an inexpensive tool for the studies of cellular biophysics, which combines versatile in vivo like mechanical stimuli with live cell imaging, showing a great potential for several cellular applications.


  • HF vibration, In vitro mechanical stimulation, Live cell imaging, Mechanical impacts, Mechanobiology, Real-time imaging

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

Downloads statistics

No data available