Mechanisms for Flow-Enhanced Cell Adhesion

Author: Zhu C.

Date: 4/1/2008

Journal:Ann. Biomed. eng.


DOI: 10.1007/s10439-008-9464-5


Cell adhesion is mediated by specific receptor—ligand bonds. In several biological systems, increasing flow has been observed to enhance cell adhesion despite the increasing dislodging fluid shear forces. Flow-enhanced cell adhesion includes several aspects: flow augments the initial tethering of flowing cells to a stationary surface, slows the velocity and increases the regularity of rolling cells, and increases the number of rollingly adherent cells. Mechanisms for this intriguing phenomenon may include transport-dependent acceleration of bond formation and force-dependent deceleration of bond dissociation. The former includes three distinct transport modes: sliding of cell bottom on the surface, Brownian motion of the cell, and rotational diffusion of the interacting molecules. The latter involves a recently demonstrated counterintuitive behavior called catch bonds where force prolongs rather than shortens the lifetimes of receptor—ligand bonds. In this article, we summarize our recently published data that used dimensional analysis and mutational analysis to elucidate the above mechanisms for flow-enhanced leukocyte adhesion mediated by L-selectinligand interactions.