The following analysis presents an experimental and theoretical study of the passive viscoelastic behavior of human leukocytes. Individual neutrophils in EDTA were observed both during their partial aspiration into a small micropipette and after expulsion from a large micropipette where the cell had been totally aspirated and deformed into a sausage shape. To analyze the data, a passive model of leukocyte rheology has been developed consisting of a cortical shell containing a Maxwell fluid which describes the average properties of the cell cytoplasm. The cortical shell represents a crosslinked actin layer near the surface of the cell and is assumed to be under pre-stressed tension. This model can reproduce the results of experiments using micropipette for both short-time small deformation and slow recovery data after large deformation. In addition, a finite element scheme has been established for the same model which shows close agreement with the analytical solution.

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