Numerous in-vitro studies have established that cells react to their physical environment and to applied mechanical loading [1, 2]. However, the mechanisms underlying such phenomena are poorly understood. Previous computational cell models of micropipette aspiration have not examined the salient mechanisms governing the material response; instead, they fit experimental data to linear elastic, viscoelastic or simplified biphasic models [3–5]. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of mechanotransduction, modeling based on the active sub-cellular biomechanical behavior and biochemical processes must be combined with experimental investigation. Such modeling will produce novel and realistic insights into sub-cellular mechanics and provide a powerful predictive tool for tissue engineering. Consistent with this concept, an active constitutive formulation for the remodeling and contractile behavior of the actin cytoskeleton is used in this study to simulate micropipette aspiration of suspended and adhered cells.

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