RESEARCH PAPERS: Papers on Cell Biomechanics

Extensional Recovery of an Intact Erythrocyte From a Tank-Treading Motion

[+] Author and Article Information
S. P. Sutera, E. R. Mueller, G. I. Zahalak

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130

J Biomech Eng 112(3), 250-256 (Aug 01, 1990) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2891181 History: Received July 28, 1989; Revised May 15, 1990; Online March 17, 2008


Normal human erythrocytes suspended in shear flow are stretched into quasi ellipsoidal forms while their membranes rotate smoothly (tank-treading). Following abrupt cessation of shear the cells recover their discoidal shapes approximately exponentially, in the manner of a Kelvin-Voigt (K-V) solid. To test the hypothesis that the recovery process is membrane-controlled, the effects of initial deformation, cytoplasmic viscosity and membrane surface-to-volume ratio were studied. It was concluded that the membrane dynamics dominates the transient shape recovery, and that the characteristic recovery time is dependent on the initial deformation. Hence, the usual simplified analysis based on retraction of a plane sheet of K-V material with constant moduli appears to be an inadequate treatment of transient whole cell recovery.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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