Application of the mathematical model of Johnson-Kendall-Roberts in the study of the Young’s modulus of erythrocytes in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • 1 Institute of Mechanics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria; Centre of competence at Mechatronics and Clean Technologies – MIRACle, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2 Institute of Polymers, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 3 Institute of Mechanics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 4 Clinic of Nervous Diseases, Uni Hospital, Panagyurishte, Bulgaria
  • 5 Bulgarian Society of Biorheology, Sofia, Bulgaria


The goal of the present study is to evaluate the elastic properties (Young’s modulus) of erythrocytes from healthy donors and patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), by using an atomic force microscope (AFM). Morphological and mechanical characteristics of red blood cells are studied in parallel by PeakForce QNM (Quantitative NanoMechanical Mapping) mode of AFM Dimensional ICON Bruker NanoScope V9 Instrument. Young’s modulus is calculated based on the mathematical model of Johnson-Kendall-Roberts by the application of the “two-point method”. AFM images of the erythrocytes from the healthy donors show that erythrocytes with a normal biconcave shape predominate. In patients with T2DM, the so-called erythrocyte polymorphism is studied. The Young’s modulus of erythrocytes, in patients with T2DM, significantly statistically increases by 27% (p≤0,001), compared to the data of healthy donors. The studied Young’s modulus by AFM can be used in clinical practice as a precise biomarker for the state of the red blood cells in T2DM.



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