A numerical model suggests the interplay between nuclear plasticity and stiffness during a perfusion assay
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Cell deformability is a necessary condition for a cell to be able to migrate, an ability that is vital both for healthy and diseased organisms. The nucleus being the largest and stiffest organelle, it often is a barrier to cell migration. It is thus essential to characterize its mechanical behaviour. First, we numerically investigate the visco-elasto-plastic properties of the isolated nucleus during a compression test. This simulation highlights the impact of the mechanical behaviour of the nuclear lamina and the nucleoplasm on the overall plasticity. Second, a whole cell model is developed to simulate a perfusion experiment to study the possible interactions between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. We analyze and discuss the role of the lamina for a wild-type cell model, and a lamin-deficient one, in which the Young’s modulus of the lamina is set to 1% of its nominal value. This simulation suggests an interplay between the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm, especially in the lamin-deficient cell, showing the need of a stiffer nucleoplasm to maintain nuclear plasticity.
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