Almost all cells in the human body are subjected to mechanical stresses. These forces can vary from a few Pascals (shear stress) to some mega Pascals (on hip cartilage). It is now well known that mechanical forces have a decisive effect on cellular physiology. In 1880, W. Roux introduced the concept of functional adaptation; which can be defined as a quantitative autoregulation controlled by stimuli like mechanical forces. These stresses influence functionality and cellular metabolism and can lead to appropriate tissue remodelling by triggering a cascade of reactions (mechanotransduction), being the signal for the adaptation of cells and tissues. However, although the main biological effects of mechanical forces are well documented, the relation between mechanical forces and physiological phenomena is largely unknown. In this paper, some effects of mechanical stresses on different cells (mesenchymal stem cells, bone cells, chondrocyte, endothelial cells, vascular or muscular cells, etc.) are summarized.
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