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Complex modulus and compliance for airway smooth muscle cells

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare P. Berntsen
Thomas Ericsson
J. Swenson
Lennart Sjögren
Publicerad i Physical Review E
Volym 101
Nummer/häfte 3
ISSN 2470-0045
Publiceringsår 2020
Publicerad vid Institutionen för matematiska vetenskaper
Institutionen för fysik (GU)
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.101.032...
Ämnesord mode-coupling theory, glass-transition, microscopic viscoelasticity, macromolecular structure, temperature-dependence, rheological behavior, supercooled liquids, molecular-weight, creep function, slow dynamics, Physics
Ämneskategorier Fysik


A cell can be described as a complex viscoelastic material with structural relaxations that is modulated by thermal and chemically nonequilibrium processes. Tissue morphology and function rely upon cells' physical responses to mechanical force. We measured the frequency-dependent mechanical relaxation response of adherent human airway smooth muscle cells under adenosine triphosphate (ATP) depletion and normal ATP conditions. The frequency dependence of the complex compliance J* and modulus G* was measured over the frequencies 10(-1) < f < 10(3) Hz at selected temperatures between 4 < T < 54 degrees C. Our results show characteristic relaxation features which can be interpreted by the mode-coupling theory (MCT) of viscoelastic liquids. We analyze the shape of the spectra in terms of a so-called A(4) scenario with logarithmic scaling laws. Characteristic timescales tau(beta) and tau(alpha) appear with corresponding energy barriers E-beta approximate to (10-20)k(B) T and E-alpha approximate to (20-30)k(B)T. We demonstrate that cells are close to a glass transition. We find that the cell becomes softer around physiological temperatures, where its surface structure is more liquid-like with a plateau modulus around 0.1-0.8 kPa compared with the more solid-like interior cytoskeletal structures with a plateau modulus 1-15 kPa. Corresponding values for the viscosity are 10(2)-10(3) Pa s for the surface structures closer to the membrane and 10(4)-10(6) Pa s for the core cytoskeletal structures.

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