AFM-based spherical indentation of a brush-coated soft material: Modeling the bottom effect

Ivan Argatov, Xiaoqing Jin*, Gennady Mishuris

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

It is a common practice in the atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based studies of living cells to differentiate them by values of the elastic (Young's) modulus, which is supposed to be an effective characteristic of the mechanical properties of a cell as a heterogeneous matter. The elastic response of a cell to AFM indentation is known to be affected by a relative distance from an AFM probe to a solid support on to which the cell is cultured. Besides this so-called bottom effect, AFM measurements may carry significant information regarding the effect of molecular brushes covering living cells. Here, we develop a mathematical model for determining the intrinsic effective Young's modulus of a single brush-coated cell from the force-indentation curve with the bottom effect taken into account. The mathematical model is illustrated with the example of AFM data on testing of an eukaryotic cell taken from the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4891-4898
Number of pages8
JournalSoft Matter
Volume19
Issue number26
Early online date20 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2023

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