Finite Element Modeling of Cellular Mechanics Experiments

Noa Slomka, Amit Gefen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The mechanical and biological response of cells to various loading regimes is a subject of great interest in the research field of biomechanics. Extensive utilization of different cellular mechanics experimental designs has been made over the years in order to provide better insight regarding the mechanical behavior of cells, and the mechanisms underlying the transduction of the applied loads into biological reactions. These experimental protocols have limited ability in directly measuring different mechanical parameters (e.g. internal cellular strains and stresses). In addition, they are very costly and involve highly complex apparatuses and experimental designs. Thus, further understating of cellular response can be achieved by means of computational models, such as the finite element (FE) method. FE modeling of cells is an emerging direction in the research field of cellular mechanics. Its application has been rapidly growing over the last decade due to its ability to quantify deformations, strains and stresses in and around cells, thus providing basic understating of the mechanical state of cells and allowing identification of mechanical properties of cells and cellular organelles when coupled with appropriate experiments. In this chapter, we review the two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) reported cell models of various cell types, subjected to different applied mechanical stimuli, e.g. compression, micropipette aspiration, indentation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameStudies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials
ISSN (Print)1868-2006
ISSN (Electronic)1868-2014


  • Inverse Finite Element Method
  • Micropipette Aspiration
  • Strain Energy Density Function
  • Tensegrity Structure
  • Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy


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