R. Wang, H. Ding, M. Mir, K. Tangella, and G. Popescu, “Effective 3D viscoelasticity of red blood cells measured by diffraction phase microscopy,” Biomed. Opt. Express 2, 485-490 (2011)

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We present optical measurements of nanoscale red blood cell fluctuations obtained by highly sensitive quantitative phase imaging. These spatio-temporal fluctuations are modeled in terms of the bulk viscoelastic response of the cell. Relating the displacement distribution to the storage and loss moduli of the bulk has the advantage of incorporating all geometric and cortical effects into a single effective medium behavior. The results on normal cells indicate that the viscous modulus is much larger than the elastic one throughout the entire frequency range covered by the measurement, indicating fluid behavior.