Studying dynamic stress effects on the behaviour of THP-1 cells by microfluidic channels

Birol S. Z., Fucucuoglu R., Çadırcı S., Sayı Yazgan A., Trabzon L.

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.11, no.1, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-021-93935-w
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Atherosclerosis is a long-term disease process of the vascular system that is characterized by the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which are inflammatory regions on medium and large-sized arteries. There are many factors contributing to plaque formation, such as changes in shear stress levels, rupture of endothelial cells, accumulation of lipids, and recruitment of leukocytes. Shear stress is one of the main factors that regulates the homeostasis of the circulatory system; therefore, sudden and chronic changes in shear stress may cause severe pathological conditions. In this study, microfluidic channels with cavitations were designed to mimic the shape of the atherosclerotic blood vessel, where the shear stress and pressure difference depend on design of the microchannels. Changes in the inflammatory-related molecules ICAM-1 and IL-8 were investigated in THP-1 cells in response to applied shear stresses in an continuous cycling system through microfluidic channels with periodic cavitations. ICAM-1 mRNA expression and IL-8 release were analyzed by qRT-PCR and ELISA, respectively. Additionally, the adhesion behavior of sheared THP-1 cells to endothelial cells was examined by fluorescence microscopy. The results showed that 15 Pa shear stress significantly increases expression of ICAM-1 gene and IL-8 release in THP-1 cells, whereas it decreases the adhesion between THP-1 cells and endothelial cells.