Viscosity of passive human neutrophils undergoing small deformations.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

At issue is the type of constitutive equation that can be used to describe all possible types of deformation of the neutrophil. Here a neutrophil undergoing small deformations is studied by aspirating it into a glass pipet with a diameter that is only slightly smaller than the diameter of the spherically shaped cell. After being held in the pipet for at least seven seconds, the cell is rapidly expelled and allowed to recover its undeformed, spherical shape. The recovery takes approximately 15 s. An analysis of the recovery process that treats the cell as a simple Newtonian liquid drop with a constant cortical (surface) tension gives a value of 3.3 x 10(-5) cm/s for the ratio of the cortical tension to cytoplasmic viscosity. This value is about twice as large as a previously published value obtained with the same model from studies of large deformations of neutrophils. This discrepancy indicates that the cytoplasmic viscosity decreases as the amount of deformation decreases. An extrapolated value for the cytoplasmic viscosity at zero deformation is approximately 600 poise when a value for the cortical tension of 0.024 dyn/cm is assumed. Clearly the neutrophil does not behave like a simple Newtonian liquid drop in that small deformations are inherently different from large deformations. More complex models consisting either of two or more fluids or multiple shells must be developed. The complex structure inside the neutrophil is shown in scanning electron micrographs of osmotically burst cells and cells whose membrane has been dissolved away.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hochmuth, RM; Ting-Beall, HP; Beaty, BB; Needham, D; Tran-Son-Tay, R

Published Date

  • May 1993

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1596 - 1601

PubMed ID

  • 8324194

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1262487

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1542-0086

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3495

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0006-3495(93)81530-3


  • eng