RESEARCH PAPERS: Papers on Cell Biomechanics

Determination of Cellular Mechanical Properties by Cell Poking, With an Application to Leukocytes

[+] Author and Article Information
G. I. Zahalak

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

W. B. McConnaughey, E. L. Elson

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130

J Biomech Eng 112(3), 283-294 (Aug 01, 1990) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2891186 History: Received October 27, 1989; Revised May 15, 1990; Online March 17, 2008


In this paper we review the cell-poking technique as an approach for investigating the mechanical properties of living cells. We first summarize the rationale for the technique and the mainly qualitative results obtained so far. Then we provide a technical description of the instrument as it is configured at present. This is followed by a discussion of the current status of analytical results available for interpreting cell-poking measurements. In the final section we apply these results to an analysis of unmodulated and modulated lymphocytes and neutrophils, and conclude that the mechanical response of these leukocytes to indentation is not consistent with simple models developed by previous investigators on the basis of micropipette-aspiration experiments.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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