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UMBC High Performance Computing Facility
Please note that this page is under construction. We are documenting the 240-node cluster maya that will be available in Spring 2014. Currently, the cluster tara is still available. Please see the 2013 Resources Pages under the Resources tab.
Simulating Cell Deformation with Optical Forces using the Immersed Boundary Method
Charles Eggleton, Ihab Sraj, Navid Goudarzi, Department of Mechanical Engineering

The mechanical deformation of biological cells is an efficient experimental method to study the cellular properties and identify diseased cells. Optical forces have been successfully used to induce small and even large scale deformations that do not alter the cellular properties, mainly due to minimal direct contact, compared to other experimental techniques (micro-pipette aspiration, atomic force microscopy). A review on the recent advances in the area of optical cell deformation shows that a variety of deforming conditions can be imposed using different methods (optical tweezers and optical stretcher) to simulate the different biological conditions. Computational simulations, on the other hand, can be used to guide and explain the experimental observations. In this work, we will present a new numerical simulation of cell optical deformability using the immersed boundary method. Cells are considered as 3D elastic capsules immersed in a fluid. Optical forces are calculated using the ray optics technique and applied on the capsule membrane that inducing transient Stokes flow. The current study is primarily focused on the deformation of spherical cells as well as biconcave discoid representing red blood cells. The deformation pattern and relaxation time will be reported over a range of forces.