The deformability of the surface membranes of Sarcoma 37 and Ehrlich murine ascites tumor cells was assessed by the pressure required to suck a hemispherical bulge from these cells into a micropipette. It was shown that treatment with neuraminidase allowed the cells to be deformed with significantly less suction, and that enzymatic treatment also produced a significant reduction in surface charge as determined by measurement of cellular electrophoretic mobility. It is suggested that the increase in cellular deformability may be related to charge reduction, and that the charge at the cell periphery may affect not only the magnitude of the potential energy barriers hindering contact between cells, but also the ease with which cells can form low radius of curvature probes in order to help overcome these barriers.

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