Analytical modeling of the mechanics of early invasion of a merozoite into a human erythrocyte
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.
KeywordsCell mechanics Malaria Merozoite Erythrocyte Contact mechanics Parasite invasion
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.
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Conflict of interests
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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