Effects of Mechanical stimulation on bone formation

Katja Hrovat, Margalida Fontcuberta-Rigo, Pere Puigbo and Miho Nakamura

Link to Poster (AURA Symposium 2023, Turku, Finland)

Abstract. Osteoblasts regulate ossification and dysregulation can result in changes of mineralisation. It is important to understand osteoblast biology to help treat diseases as osteoporosis, which is the most common chronic metabolic bone disease, characterized by increased bone fragility. Due to aging population and longer life span, it is increasingly becoming a global epidemic. Increased mechanical stimuli (physical exercise) enhances bone mass and bone strength. Mechanical loading also promotes osteoblast differentiation, inhibits osteoclast formation, migration and adhesion in vivo. The aim of our research is to investigate the effects of mechanical stimulation on osteoblast differentiation in comparison to static conditions, since it is known that mechanical stress stimulates bone formation.


  • Mechanical stimulation promotes osteoblast differentiation in comparison to static differentiation.
  • Two weeks differentiation enhances osteoblast differentiation in comparison to one week differentiation.
  • Longer exposure to the mechanical stimulation and analysis of expression of other proteins still needs to be investigated in the future.

Results of the alkaline phosphatase (ALP*) show that after 2 weeks more cells differentiated into osteoblasts in comparison to 1 week. In addition, differentiation of the cells was accelerated under exposure to mechanical stimulation. *ALP: molecular marker of osteoblast differentiation.

Cells were grown on culture flasks, seeded on 12-well culture plates and cultured until 100% confluency. The cells were differentiated by adding osteogenic differentiation factors. Parallelly, we divided plates into two groups: only treated with differentiation medium, and one treated also with mechanical stimulation. Cells were fixed at 1 and 2 weeks after starting differentiation and mechanical stimulation (movie). After fixation, the analysis of the samples was performed.

Created by Puigbo and Nakamura @ University of Turku (2022)