In an effort to identify key rheological properties that contribute to cell protection against shear damage, we have measured surface shear and dilatationai viscosities, dynamic surface tension, foaminess, and foam stability for media containing cell-protecting additives. In a companion article,18 we found that cell-to-bubble attachment was decreased in media containing Methocel, Pluronic F68, or polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). In medium containing polyethylene glycol (PEG) or potyvinyl-pyrrolidone (PVP), attachment was increased. PEG, PVP, serum (FBS), and serum albumin (BSA) increased the surface viscosity of the air/medium surface (thus, producing a more rigid interface), whereas F68 and PVA lowered it greatly. Foaming experiments showed that Methocel, PEG, PVA, and F68 decreased the foam half-life while FBS, BSA, and PVP were foam stabilizers. Interestingly, the foam stability of CHO cell suspensions decreased significantly for cell concentrations higher than ca. 2 × 106 cells/mL. Nonviable CHO cells reduced foam stability further. Dynamic surface tension values of the media tested were found significantly differentfrom their static surface tension values. The interfacial properties measured and the results presented in the companion study suggest that the additives that lower dynamic surface tension the most (Methocel, F68, and PVA) correlate well with reduced cell-to-bubble attachment, and thus, cell protection. Reduced dynamic surface tension with these additives implies faster surfactant adsorption, mobile interfaces, lower surface viscosity, and foam destabilization. Because PEG and PVP resulted in increased cell-to-bubble attachment and had different interfacial properties, a different mechanism (compared with Methocel, PVP, and F68) is apparently responsible for their protective effect. Finally, cell protection offered by FBS and BSA is attributed to the foam stabilization properties provided by these additives. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons Inc.