Deformation Analyses in Cell and Developmental Biology. Part II—Mechanical Experiments on Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
L. Y. Cheng

Civil Engineering Department, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif. 94720

J Biomech Eng 109(1), 18-24 (Feb 01, 1987) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138635 History: Received July 28, 1986; Revised November 19, 1986; Online June 12, 2009


This study employs the finite element approach developed in Part I to analyze mechanical experiments on cells. It views cells as axisymmetric membrane structures containing a body of incompressible material, and models the mechanical contact between a cell and the loading apparatus by a contact algorithm. Since the method is valid for analyzing axisymmetric shell-like bodies with arbitrary shapes, it treates various mechanical experiments on cells in a unified manner. For demonstration purposes, three commonly used mechanical experiments on cells are considered; (1) the compression experiment; (2) the suction (micropipette aspiration) experiment; and (3) the magnetic particle experiment. Based on an estimate of the mechanical property data for unfertilized sea urchin eggs, this analysis method predicts the responses for all three experiments using the same assumptions and approximations. This parallel treatment gives a broad basis for data correlation with experiments. The method also provides insights into mechanical experiments not offered by other approximate methods. For example, it gives the distributions of tensions and stretches on the cell cortex, and suggests the role of friction in the suction experiment.

Copyright © 1987 by ASME
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