Graphical analysis of mammalian cell adhesion in vitro

Qiaoling Huang, Martin Antensteiner, Xiang Yang Liu, Changjian Lin, Erwin A. Vogler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Short-term ( < 2 h) cell adhesion kinetics of 3 different mammalian cell types: MDCK (epithelioid), MC3T3-E1 (osteoblastic), and MDA-MB-231 (cancerous) on 7 different substratum surface chemistries spanning the experimentally-observable range of water wettability (surface energy) are graphically analyzed to qualitatively elucidate commonalities and differences among cell/surface/suspending media combinations. We find that short-term mammalian cell attachment/adhesion in vitro correlates with substratum surface energy as measured by water adhesion tension, τ≡γlvcosθ, where γlv is water liquid-vapor interfacial energy (72.8   mJ/m2) and cosθ is the cosine of the advancing contact angle subtended by a water droplet on the substratum surface. No definitive functional relationships among cell-adhesion kinetic parameters and τ were observed as in previous work, but previously-observed general trends were reproduced, especially including a sharp transition in the magnitude of kinetic parameters from relatively low-to-high near τ=0 mJ/m2, although the exact adhesion tension at which this transition occurs is difficult to accurately estimate from the current data set. We note, however, that the transition is within the hydrophobic range based on the τ=30 mJ/m2 surface-energetic dividing line that has been proposed to differentiate “hydrophobic” surfaces from “hydrophilic”. Thus, a rather sharp hydrophobic/hydrophilic contrast is observed for cell adhesion for disparate cell/surface combinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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