Mechanical property quantification of endothelial cells using scanning acoustic microscopy

A. Shelke, S. Brand, T. Kundu, J. Bereiter-Hahn, C. Blasé

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The mechanical properties of cells reflect dynamic changes of cellular organization which occur during physiologic activities like cell movement, cell volume regulation or cell division. Thus the study of cell mechanical properties can yield important information for understanding these physiologic activities. Endothelial cells form the thin inner lining of blood vessels in the cardiovascular system and are thus exposed to shear stress as well as tensile stress caused by the pulsatile blood flow. Endothelial dysfunction might occur due to reduced resistance to mechanical stress and is an initial step in the development of cardiovascular disease like, e.g., atherosclerosis. Therefore we investigated the mechanical properties of primary human endothelial cells (HUVEC) of different age using scanning acoustic microscopy at 1.2 GHz. The HUVECs are classified as young (t D < 90 h) and old (t D > 90 h) cells depending upon the generation time for the population doubling of the culture (t D). Longitudinal sound velocity and geometrical properties of cells (thickness) were determined using the material signature curve V(z) method for variable culture condition along spatial coordinates. The plane wave technique with normal incidence is assumed to solve two-dimensional wave equation. The size of the cells is modeled using multilayered (solid-fluid) system. The propagation of transversal wave and surface acoustic wave are neglected in soft matter analysis. The biomechanical properties of HUVEC cells are quantified in an age dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2012
StatePublished - 2012
EventHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2012 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 12 2012Mar 15 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherHealth Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Acoustic microscopy
  • Cell aging
  • Material signature curve
  • Plane wave theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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