Viscous forces are predominant in the zona pellucida mechanical resistance

Massimiliano Papi, Alessandro Maiorana, Cécile Douet, Giuseppe Maulucci, Tiziana Parasassi, Roberto Brunelli, Ghylène Goudet, Marco De Spirito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The zona pellucida (ZP) is a multilayer glycoprotein spherical shell surrounding mammalian eggs. The ZP's mechanical response plays a crucial role in mammalian fertilization and is a parameter commonly adopted in "in vitro fertilization" to characterize the oocytes quality. While it is assumed that ZP mechanical response is purely elastic, here we prove that dissipative forces cannot be neglected. Physiologically, this evidence implies that an increase in the spermatozoa motility can induce dramatic changes on the ZP reaction force turning ZP shell in an impenetrable barrier leading to fertility impairments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)043703-1-043703-4
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Viscosity
  • Zona Pellucida


Dive into the research topics of 'Viscous forces are predominant in the zona pellucida mechanical resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this