Abstract

Physical forces play an essential role in life. Stimulating living cells or tissues with mechanical cues can conjure a myriad of biochemical and biophysical responses. [1,2,3] It is well known that mechanical cues, such as gravity, are important in proper tissue development and maintenance. [4] Likewise, mechanical cues have proven to be essential when engineering living tissue. [5] It has been shown that giving mechanical input to engineered load-bearing tissues will often result in a product more closely resembling the native tissue. [5,6] In contrast, studies done in the microgravity environment of outer space have shown that a loss of the constant mechanical input of gravity will result in loss of tissue mass. [7,8,9] Tissue engineering in microgravity systems has also resulted in “mechanically inferior” tissue. [10] It is now know that feedback from cellular mechanoreceptors is critical for proper development, maintenance, and remodeling of tissues. Actual mechanisms and biochemical pathways involved in mechanotransduction have not been fully elucidated and are subjects of intensifying research.

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