Theses and Dissertations


Joon Wan Shim

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Elder, Steven H.

Committee Member

Wise, Dwayne A.

Committee Member

Warnock, James N.

Committee Member

Gilbert, Jerome A.

Committee Member

McLaughlin, Ronald

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Biomedical Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


This study was motivated by a theoretical formulation on mechanobiology of soft and hard skeletal tissue differentiation. To prove this formulation experimentally, I hypothesized that cartilaginous phenotype can be induced in vitro in a seemingly non-cartilaginous cell source from fibrous tissue. In testing this hypothesis, I have focused on cartilage as a target and fibrous tissue as an origin or the source of cell. Four different trials were pursued with one supposition in common, i.e. hydrostatic pressure is one of the main driving forces for chondroinduction in vitro. The first and second trials pertained to the influence of a relatively short and long duration cyclic hydrostatic compression on rat Achilles tendon fibroblasts. The third trial was to examine the effect of two different drugs on cytoskeletal elements of mesenchymal stem cells or mouse embryonic fibroblast lines in pellet cultures combined with the similar duration and/or frequency of cyclic hydrostatic pressure adopted in the aforesaid trials with no pharmacological agents added. Last, attempts were made to implement an advanced technique in molecular biology called 'PCR array' to further quantify expression levels of eighty four pathway-specific genes in mouse TGFbeta/BMP signaling traffic under the same physiological regimen of hydrostatic compression. Results demonstrated that transdifferentation in phenotype from tendon to fibrocartilage may have occurred in vitro in tendon fibroblasts in pellet cultures exposed to hydrostatic pressure. Experiments on the role of the cytoskeleton in mechanotransduction of the applied level of hydrostatic pressure demonstrated that disruption of microfilaments in the presence of cytochalasin-D did not significantly interfere with the anabolic effect of cyclic pressure. However, disruption of microtubule assembly by nocodazole abolished the pressure-induced stimulation in cartilage marker genes. These findings suggest that microtubules, but not microfilaments, are involved in mechanotransduction of hydrostatic pressure by mesenchymal stem cells.



tissue engineering||cytoskeleton||mechanotransduction||mesenchymal stem cell||hydrostatic pressure||fibrocartilage||tendon||fibroblast||chondrocyte||cartilage||mechanobiology