The viscoelastic deformation of porcine aortic endothelial cells grown under static culture conditions was measured using the micropipette technique. Experiments were conducted both for control cells (mechanically or trypsin detached from the substrate) and for cells in which cytoskeletal elements were disrupted by cytochalasin B or colchicine. The time course of the aspirated length into the pipette was measured after applying a stepwise increase in aspiration pressure. To analyze the data, a standard linear viscoelastic half-space model of the endothelial cell was used. The aspirated length was expressed as an exponential function of time. The actin microfilaments were found to be the major cytoskeletal component determining the viscoelastic response of endothelial cells grown in static culture.

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