Send to

Choose Destination
Biotechnol Bioeng. 2004 Mar 30;85(7):770-5.

Mechanical properties of desiccated ragweed pollen grains determined by micromanipulation and theoretical modelling.

Author information

Center for Formulation Engineering, Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.


The mechanical properties of desiccated ragweed pollen grains were determined using a micromanipulation technique and a theoretical model. Single pollen grains with a diameter of approximately 20 microm were compressed and held, compressed and released, and compressed to rupture at different speeds between two parallel surfaces. Simultaneously, the force being imposed on the pollen grains was measured. It has been found that the rupture force of pollen grains increased linearly with their displacement at rupture on average, but was independent of their diameter. The mean rupture force was 1.20 +/- 0.03 mN, and mean deformation (the ratio between the displacement and diameter) at rupture was 22 +/- 0.6%. Single pollen grains were modeled as a capsule with a core full of air and a non permeable wall. A constitutive equation based on Hookean law was used to determine the mechanical property parameters Eh (product of the Young's modulus and wall thickness), and the mean value of Eh of desiccated pollen gains was estimated to be 1653 +/- 36 N/m.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center