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Erythrocyte Membrane Failure by Electromechanical Stress

Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(2), 174;
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 18 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 25 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microsystems for Bio Applications)
PDF [2515 KB, uploaded 25 January 2018]


We envision that electrodeformation of biological cells through dielectrophoresis as a new technique to elucidate the mechanistic details underlying membrane failure by electrical and mechanical stresses. Here we demonstrate the full control of cellular uniaxial deformation and tensile recovery in biological cells via amplitude-modified electric field at radio frequency by an interdigitated electrode array in microfluidics. Transient creep and cyclic experiments were performed on individually tracked human erythrocytes. Observations of the viscoelastic-to-viscoplastic deformation behavior and the localized plastic deformations in erythrocyte membranes suggest that electromechanical stress results in irreversible membrane failure. Examples of membrane failure can be separated into different groups according to the loading scenarios: mechanical stiffening, physical damage, morphological transformation from discocyte to echinocyte, and whole cell lysis. These results show that this technique can be potentially utilized to explore membrane failure in erythrocytes affected by other pathophysiological processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: erythrocyte; membrane failure; dielectrophoresis; microfluidics; cell biomechanics; cell lysis erythrocyte; membrane failure; dielectrophoresis; microfluidics; cell biomechanics; cell lysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Du, E.; Qiang, Y.; Liu, J. Erythrocyte Membrane Failure by Electromechanical Stress. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 174.

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