Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine




In vivo cartilage is in a state of constant mechanical stimulation. It is therefore reasonable to deduce that mechanical forces play an important role in cartilage formation. Mechanical forces, such as compression, tension, and shear force, have been widely applied for cartilage engineering; however, relatively few review papers have summarized the influence of biomechanical signals on stem cell-based neo-cartilage formation and cartilage engineering in both molecular adaption and tissue functionality. In this review, we will discuss recent progress related to the influences of substrate elasticity on stem cell chondrogenic differentiation and elucidate the potential underlying mechanisms. Aside from active sensing and responding to the extracellular environment, stem cells also could respond to various external mechanical forces, which also influence their chondrogenic capacity; this topic will be updated along with associated signaling pathways. We expect that these different regimens of biomechanical signals can be utilized to boost stem cell-based cartilage engineering and regeneration.

Source Citation

Zhang, Y., Chen, S., & Pei, M. (2016). Biomechanical signals guiding stem cell cartilage engineering: from molecular adaption to tissue functionality. European Cells and Materials, 31, 59–78.



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