Experimental studies have shown that endothelial cells which have been exposed to shear stress maintain a flattened and elongated shape after detachment. Their mechanical properties, which are studied using the micropipette experiments, are influenced by the level as well as the duration of the shear stress. In the present paper, we analyze these mechanical properties with the aid of two mathematical models suggested by the micropipette technique and by the geometry peculiar to these cells in their detached post-exposure state. The two models differ in their treatment of the contact zone between the cell and the micropipette. The main results are expressions for an effective Young’s modulus for the cells, which are used in conjunction with the micropipette data to determine an effective Young’s modulus for bovine endothelial cells, and to discuss the dependence of this modulus upon exposure to shear stress.

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