RESEARCH PAPERS: Papers on Cell Biomechanics

Cell-Cell, Cell-Substrate Adhesion: Theoretical and Experimental Considerations

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Tozeren

Biomedical Engineering Program, The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064

J Biomech Eng 112(3), 311-318 (Aug 01, 1990) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2891189 History: Received June 07, 1989; Revised May 15, 1990; Online March 17, 2008


Cell-cell adhesion plays a fundamental role in tissue and organ development, cell mediated immunity and blood flow. In the present study a micro-mechanical model of specific adhesion is presented. Analytical expressions are derived for the adhesive energy density (Γ) at zero speed of peeling for the cases of immobile (trapped) as well as laterally mobile bonds. It is shown that Γ increases in both cases with the increasing density of bonds and with the binding of affinity of unstressed bonds. In the case of laterally mobile bonds Γ also increases with the extent of peeling. The analytical results are shown to be valid whether or not one takes into account of the bending stiffness of adhering membranes. It is also shown that Γ does not depend on the functional form of bond elasticity. The effect of the speed of peeling on the number density distribution of attached bonds is considered next. Numerical solutions for the energy required to separate conjugated cell pairs are presented. The theoretical predictions are then used to analyze experimental data on red cell aggregation and adhesion between a cytotoxic-T cell and its target cell. The results show that the binding affinity of unstressed bonds and their number density before conjugation can be obtained from data on slow peeling of cell-pairs. The information on the diffusivity of bonds, their stiffness and their rates of attachment and detachment are more difficult to obtain, requiring a set of experiments with increasing rates of separation (conjugation) of cell-pairs.

Copyright © 1990 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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