Biointerphases

Journal for Biophysical Chemistry

Biointerphases Cover Image
Open Access

Continuum model of mechanical interactions between biological cells and artificial nanostructures

  • Piyush Verma1,
  • Ian Y. Wong1 and
  • Nicholas A. Melosh1
Biointerphases5:50200037

https://doi.org/10.1116/1.3431960

Received: 8 March 2010

Accepted: 29 April 2010

Abstract

The controlled insertion of artificial nanostructures into biological cells has been utilized for patch clamping, targeted drug delivery, cell lysing, and cell mechanics measurements. In this work, an elastic continuum model is implemented to treat the deformation of spherical cells in solution due to their interaction with cylindrical probes. At small deformations, the force varies nonlinearly with indentation due to global deformation of the cell shape. However, at large indentations, the force varies linearly with indentation due to more localized deformations. These trends are consistent with experimental measurements under comparable conditions and can be used to develop design rules for optimizing probe-cell interactions.