Shear stress distribution on the surface of endothelial cells during flow-induced morphological remodeling

Shuichiro Fukushima*, Hideki Fujioka, Kazuo Tanishita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Flow-induced mechanical stress affects morphology of endothelial cells. The morphological remodeling of the cells is adaptive response by the mechanical stimulus. To address the mechanisms for the response, it is necessary to examine how the mechanical environment influences the adaptation process. Therefore, we tracked the same group of cultured endothelial cells during flow exposure, and measured surface geometry of the cells by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Flow field near the measured cell surface was then simulated by computational fluid dynamics, and the shear stress distribution on the cell surface was determined. When the cells, which were polygonal without alignment at the beginning of the flow exposure, elongated and aligned with the flow direction, mean shear stress of the cell group was decreased with time course. However, there were some cells on which mean shear stress per cell was increased, and morphological change of each cell was not always adaptive. The results show importance of interaction with surrounding cells for the adaptive response as cell layer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalNippon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, A Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive remodeling
  • Bio-fluid mechanics
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Endothelial cell
  • Shape measurement
  • Shear flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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