Characterizing mechanical properties of biological cells by microinjection

Youhua Tan, Dong Sun, Wenhao Huang, Shuk Han Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Microinjection has been demonstrated to be an effective technique to introduce foreign materials into biological cells. Despite the advance, whether cell injection can be used to characterize the mechanical properties of cells remains elusive. In this paper, extending the previously developed mechanical model, various constitutive materials are adopted to present the membrane characteristics of cells. To demonstrate the modeling approach and identify the most appropriate constitutive material for a specific biomembrane, finite element analysis (FEA) and experimental tests are carried out. It is shown that the modeling results agree well with those from both FEA and experiments, which demonstrates the validity of the developed approach. Moreover, Yeoh and Cheng materials are found to be the best constitutive materials in representing the deformation behaviors of zebrafish embryos and mouse embryos (or oocytes), respectively. Also, the mechanical properties of zebrafish embryos at different developmental stages and mouse embryos (or oocytes) are characterized.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5477172
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Nanobioscience
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological cells
  • constitutive material
  • mechanical model
  • mechanical properties
  • microinjection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterizing mechanical properties of biological cells by microinjection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this