Adhesion between cells is related to several physiological phenomena such as heart failure (Karila00), how cancer spreads (Ruoslahti99) and if an infection will be fought off. Controlling of these events requires knowledge of how cells adhere. Many previous studies have been conducted with various amounts of success. But none of these methods are independently capable of understanding the adhesion properties of a single living cell. In this article a MEMS sensor has been employed to study, quantitatively and qualitatively, the adhesion properties of a single living bovine endothelial cell. This experiment shows that the strength of a single anchorage site of the endothelial cell to an extracellular matrix coated substrate is 36 nN. Anchorage sites have been observed, in-situ, to be spaced on the order of 1 μm intervals. A model is also proposed for the detachment of a single living cell from a substrate.

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