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Understanding the Mechanical Properties of Microalgae Using Atomic Force Microscopy

[+] Author Affiliations
Kristin M. Warren, Jeremiah Mpagazehe, C. Fred Higgs, III, Philip LeDuc

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Paper No. SBC2013-14317, pp. V01AT17A012; 2 pages
  • ASME 2013 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Volume 1A: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms; Active and Reactive Soft Matter; Atherosclerosis; BioFluid Mechanics; Education; Biotransport Phenomena; Bone, Joint and Spine Mechanics; Brain Injury; Cardiac Mechanics; Cardiovascular Devices, Fluids and Imaging; Cartilage and Disc Mechanics; Cell and Tissue Engineering; Cerebral Aneurysms; Computational Biofluid Dynamics; Device Design, Human Dynamics, and Rehabilitation; Drug Delivery and Disease Treatment; Engineered Cellular Environments
  • Sunriver, Oregon, USA, June 26–29, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5560-7
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


From consumer productions to energy production, algae is used in many industrial processes. Understanding the mechanical behavior of algae is important to optimize these processes. To obtain a better understanding of algae cell response, we mechanically characterized single, dried Scenedesmus dimorphus cells. To accomplish this, we used atomic force microscopy (AFM) to image S. dimorphus cells, which enabled us to map the AFM measurements to a location on the individual cells. We were then able to perform force measurements on the AFM to determine the Young’s modulus of S. dimorphus. These findings enable a more detailed understanding of the mechanical properties of a single S. dimorphus cell, which may be useful in many applications.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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