Dynamic mechanical analysis of suspended soft bodies via hydraulic force spectroscopy

Massimiliano Berardi*, Kajangi Gnanachandran, Jieke Jiang, Kevin Bielawski, Claas W. Visser, Malgorzata Lekka, B. Imran Akca

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
135 Downloads (Pure)


The rheological characterization of soft suspended bodies, such as cells, organoids, or synthetic microstructures, is particularly challenging, even with state-of-the-art methods (e.g. atomic force microscopy, AFM). Providing well-defined boundary conditions for modeling typically requires fixating the sample on a substrate, which is a delicate and time-consuming procedure. Moreover, it needs to be tuned for each chemistry and geometry. Here, we validate a novel technique, called hydraulic force spectroscopy (HFS), against AFM dynamic indentation taken as the gold standard. Combining experimental data with finite element modeling, we show that HFS gives results comparable to AFM microrheology over multiple decades, while obviating any sample preparation requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-624
Number of pages10
JournalSoft matter
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2022


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