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Open AccessArticle

Effect of AFM Nanoindentation Loading Rate on the Characterization of Mechanical Properties of Vascular Endothelial Cell

1
Center of Ultra-Precision Optoelectric Instrument Engineering, School of Instrumentation Science and Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
2
International Research Center for Nano Handling and Manufacturing of China, Changchun University of Science and Technology, Changchun 130022, China
3
School of Engineering, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2020, 11(6), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi11060562
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 28 May 2020 / Accepted: 28 May 2020 / Published: 31 May 2020
Vascular endothelial cells form a barrier that blocks the delivery of drugs entering into brain tissue for central nervous system disease treatment. The mechanical responses of vascular endothelial cells play a key role in the progress of drugs passing through the blood–brain barrier. Although nanoindentation experiment by using AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) has been widely used to investigate the mechanical properties of cells, the particular mechanism that determines the mechanical response of vascular endothelial cells is still poorly understood. In order to overcome this limitation, nanoindentation experiments were performed at different loading rates during the ramp stage to investigate the loading rate effect on the characterization of the mechanical properties of bEnd.3 cells (mouse brain endothelial cell line). Inverse finite element analysis was implemented to determine the mechanical properties of bEnd.3 cells. The loading rate effect appears to be more significant in short-term peak force than that in long-term force. A higher loading rate results in a larger value of elastic modulus of bEnd.3 cells, while some mechanical parameters show ambiguous regulation to the variation of indentation rate. This study provides new insights into the mechanical responses of vascular endothelial cells, which is important for a deeper understanding of the cell mechanobiological mechanism in the blood–brain barrier. View Full-Text
Keywords: mechanical properties of cell; nanoindentation loading rate; atomic force microscopy; bEnd.3 cell; finite element analysis mechanical properties of cell; nanoindentation loading rate; atomic force microscopy; bEnd.3 cell; finite element analysis
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Wang, L.; Tian, L.; Zhang, W.; Wang, Z.; Liu, X. Effect of AFM Nanoindentation Loading Rate on the Characterization of Mechanical Properties of Vascular Endothelial Cell. Micromachines 2020, 11, 562.

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