Mechanical stimulation has been shown to regulate gene and protein expression in many cell types, including stem cells. Cyclic strain has been previously shown by our laboratory and others [1, 2] to regulate smooth muscle gene and protein expression in mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs). From these and other results [3], we hypothesize that the differentiated phenotype of MPCs may be controlled by the appropriate type, magnitude, and frequency of mechanical stimulation. We describe here the differential response of MPCs to three mechanical stimuli — cyclic strain, cyclic hydrostatic pressure, and laminar shear stress — over a range of magnitudes and frequencies that are consistent with the cardiovascular system.

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