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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2014 Nov;90(5-1):052715. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Simple measurement of the apparent viscosity of a cell from only one picture: Application to cardiac stem cells.

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Center for Biomedical Technology, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Spain and Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales, ETSI de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Department of Regenerative Cardiology, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares, 28029 Madrid, Spain.


Mechanical deformability of cells is a key property that influences their ability to migrate and their contribution to tissue development and regeneration. We analyze here the possibility of characterizing the overall deformability of cells by their apparent viscosity, using a simplified method to estimate that parameter. The proposed method simplifies the quantitative analysis of micropipette-aspiration experiments. We have studied by this procedure the overall apparent viscosity of cardiac stem cells, which are considered a promising tool to regenerate damaged cardiac tissue. Comparison with the apparent viscosity of low-viscosity cells such as immune-system cells suggests that treatments to reduce the viscosity of these cells could enhance their ability to repair damaged cardiac tissue.


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