Influence of cell deformation on leukocyte rolling adhesion in shear flow

X. Lei, M. B. Lawrence, C. Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Blood cell interaction with vascular endothelium is important in microcirculation, where rolling adhesion of circulating leukocytes along the surface of endothelial cells is a prerequisite for leukocyte emigration underflow conditions. HL-60 cell rolling adhesion to surface-immobilized P-selectin in shear flow was investigated using a side-view flow chamber, which permitted measurements of cell deformation and cell-substrate contact length as well as cell rolling velocity. A two-dimensional model was developed based on the assumption that fluid energy input to a rolling cell was essentially distributed into two parts: cytoplasmic viscous dissipation, and energy needed to break adhesion bonds between the rolling cell and its substrate. The flow flelds of extracellular fluid and intracellular cytoplasm were solved using finite element methods with a deformable cell membrane represented by an elastic ring. The adhesion energy loss was calculated based on receptor-ligand kinetics equations. It was found that, as a result of shear-flow-induced cell deformation, cell-substrate contact area under high wall shear stresses (20 dyn/crrf) could be as much as twice of that under low stresses (0.5 dyn/cm2). An increase in contact area may cause more energy dissipation to both adhesion bonds and viscous cytoplasm, whereas the fluid energy input may decrease due to the flattened cell shape. Our model predicts that leukocyte rolling velocity will reach a plateau as shear stress increases, which agrees with both in vivo and in vitro experimental observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-643
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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