Mechanical measurements of intrinsic membrane material properties are used to characterize the defect in hereditary spherocyte membrane at a continuum level. The value of the surface elastic shear modulus is two-thirds as large as normal values, and the value of the yield shear resultant is one-third as large as normal values. The viscosity of the surface above the elastic-plastic transition appears normal. Under similar geometric conditions, the force required to fragment a hereditary spherocyte is about one-third as large as the force required to fragment a normal cell.

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