Engineering of a periodontal ligament construct: cell and fibre alignment induced by shear stress

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We report an in vitro technique to establish alignment of collagen fibres and cells within a three-dimensional tissue equivalent that mimics the natural periodontal ligament (PDL) using a novel custom-designed bioreactor.

Material and Methods

Shear stress was applied to the tissue equivalent prepared with collagen solution and seeded with human PDL cells. Stress-strain dynamics and the alignment of collagen fibres and PDL cells in tissue equivalents were analysed.


Shear stress aligned collagen fibres and PDL cells in a direction parallel to the principle strain vector. PDL cells and Collagen fibres aligned in strained tissue equivalents with higher uniformity than in unstrained tissue equivalents.


The cell and fibre alignment of the engineered PDL was precisely guided by mechanical shear stress along the direction of principal strain vector using a custom-designed bioreactor, suggesting that the enhanced functional property of engineered PDL constructs could be achieved with this technique.

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