Multiphysics Modeling of Applied Stresses and Strains in an Isolated Biologic Cell During Microfluidic Manipulation

Y. Liang[1], A. Saha[1], Z. Shi[1], R. Marcus[1], and S.S. Kohles[2]
[1]Central State University, Wilberforce, OH, USA
[2]Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA

In order to test the hypothesis that a controlled external mechanical stimulus may affect cellular regeneration or degeneration, we developed a three-dimensional computational model to explore the applications of a unique micromechanical environment in COMSOL. Recently, experimental stresses have been applied to living cells suspended by an optical trap within microchannel cross-junctional flows. The applied stresses within the opto-hydrodynamic trap have been mathematically developed from the fundamental equations describing microfluidic creeping flows past a suspended sphere. The resulting two-dimensional strains indicated controllable site-specific deformation in modeled cells. In this paper, we introduce the three-dimensional stress environment and explore the full-field cellular strain response. In our initial investigations, the nano to microscale cellular structures are modeled as homogeneous, isotropic, and linearly elastic. The computational framework will allow us to develop more realistic cellular models, whose intracellular structures are distinctly given (including membrane, fibers, and organelles, etc.), in our future work.

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