, Volume 4, Issue 2-3, pp 117-131

Determination of the surface tension of biological cells using the freezing front technique

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The freezing front technique for solid surface tension measurements was used to obtain the surface tensions of glutaraldehyde-fixed human erythrocytes, and fresh human lymphocytes and grnulocytes in aqueous media. The results agree well with the values obtained by other methods and indicate that the freezing front technique is sufficiently sensitive to detect small differences (of the order of 0.1 ergs/cm2) in surface tension. This property, along with a number of applications for which it is uniquely suited makes the freezing front technique an important new approach to the measurement of the surface tensions of biological cells and of small particles in general.