3 years ago

Micropipette aspiration method for characterizing biological materials with surface energy.

X. Q. Feng, S. W. Yu, G. F. Wang, Y. Ding

Many soft biological tissues possess a considerable surface stress, which plays a significant role in their biophysical functions, but most previous methods for characterizing their mechanical properties have neglected the effects of surface stress. In this work, we investigate the micropipette aspiration to measure the mechanical properties of cells and soft tissues with surface effects. The neo-Hookean constitutive model is adopted to describe the hyperelasticity of the measured biological material, and the surface effect is considered through the finite element method. It is found that when the pipette radius or aspiration length is comparable to the elastocapillary length, surface energy may distinctly alter the aspiration response. Generally, both the aspiration length and the bulk normal stress decreases as surface energy increases, and thus neglecting the surface energy will lead to an overestimation of elastic modulus. Through dimensional analysis and numerical simulations, we provide an explicit relation between the imposed pressure and the aspiration length. This method can be applied to accurately determine the mechanical properties of soft biological tissues and organs, e.g., tumors and embryos.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.03643

DOI: arXiv:1801.03643v1

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