Reliable measurement of elastic modulus of cells by nanoindentation in an atomic force microscope
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AbstractThe elastic modulus of an oral cancer cell line UM1 is investigated by nanoindentation in an atomic force microscope with a flat-ended tip. The commonly used Hertzian method gives apparent elastic modulus which increases with the loading rate, indicating strong effects of viscoelasticity. On the contrary, a rate-jump method developed for viscoelastic materials gives elastic modulus values which are independent of the rate-jump magnitude. The results show that the rate-jump method can be used as a standard protocol for measuring elastic stiffness of living cells, since the measured values are intrinsic properties of the cells. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
SponsorsThe work done in this article was supported by a grant from the University Grants Committee of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region, PR China (Project No. SEG-HKU06).
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