Investigation of Cell-Substrate Adhesion Properties of Living Chondrocyte by Measuring Adhesive Shear Force and Detachment Using AFM and Inverse FEA
It is well-known that cell adhesion is important in many biological processes such as cell migration and proliferation. A better understanding of the cell adhesion process will shed insight into these cellular biological responses as well as cell adhesion-related diseases treatment. However, there is little research which has attempted to investigate the process of cell adhesion and its mechanism. Thus, this paper aims to study the time-dependent adhesion properties of single living chondrocytes using an advanced coupled experimental-numerical approach. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) tips will be used to apply lateral forces to detach chondrocytes that are seeded for three different periods. An advanced Finite Element Analysis (FEA) model combining porohyperelastic (PHE) constitutive model and cohesive zone formulation is developed to explore the mechanism of adhesion. The results revealed that the cells can resist normal traction better than tangential traction in the beginning of adhesion. This is when the cell adhesion molecules establish early attachment to the substrates. After that when the cells are spreading, stress fiber bundles generate tangential traction on the substrate to form strong adhesion. Both simulation and experimental results agree well with each other, providing a powerful tool to study the cellular adhesion process.
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