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Journal of Biological Physics

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 471–479 | Cite as

Analytical modeling of the mechanics of early invasion of a merozoite into a human erythrocyte

  • Tamer Abdalrahman
  • Thomas Franz
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

In this study, we used a continuum model based on contact mechanics to understand the mechanics of merozoite invasion into human erythrocytes. This model allows us to evaluate the indentation force and work as well as the contact pressure between the merozoite and erythrocyte for an early stage of invasion (γ = 10%). The model predicted an indentation force of 1.3e −11N and an indentation work of 1e −18J. The present analytical model can be considered as a useful tool not only for investigations in mechanobiology and biomechanics but also to explore novel therapeutic targets for malaria and other parasite infections.

Keywords

Cell mechanics Malaria Merozoite Erythrocyte Contact mechanics Parasite invasion 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research reported in this publication was supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (UID 92531 and 93542), and the South African Medical Research Council under a Self-Initiated Research Grant (SIR 328148). Views and opinions expressed are not those of the NRF or MRC but of the authors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Biology, Division of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Cape Town, ObservatoryCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Bioengineering Science Research Group, Engineering Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and the EnvironmentUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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