State-of-the-art cell pulsatile physiological stretch & live cell imaging system

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry


Studying cells in an environment that resembles normal physiology experienced in the body is desirable. In the University of Bristol we have multiple research groups who are interested in kidney, cardiovascular, tissue engineering and cancer cell/organoid biology. We have identified that growing cells in a system that allows dynamic pulsatile stretch that would mimic cardiac output (amplitude and frequency) would be highly beneficial for these groups.

We would like to purchase a state-of-the-art stretch system that can simultaneously stretch multiple cell/organoid/tissue samples in an incubator for days to weeks (matching the situation in the body). Furthermore, it has the capability to video the specimens through an incubator located microscope and assess how proteins change in their cellular location through florescent tags.

This equipment will be made available to all researchers in the University by being linked to our dedicated Wolfson Imaging Centre. Importantly, there is currently no other equipment that can do this in our University, so this equipment would facilitate an unmet need.

Technical Summary

In the University of Bristol we have no equipment that can dynamically stretch cells, organoids and tissue in a physiological manner. We have identified this as an unmet need which will be beneficial to multiple researchers. We would like to purchase a 24-well Flexcell FX6000 cell tension system, together with appendices allowing both cells and organoids/tissues to be stretched physiologically (mimicking cardiac output induced stretch). Furthermore, we would like the ability to image the cells whilst dynamically stretching (both wide field and florescent tagged protein tracking). This will be feasible using an "in-incubator" microscope which can be controlled remotely and stores images in the cloud. This equipment will be placed in a dedicated laboratory in the University with full technical support.


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