Dynamics of cell attachment: adhesion time and force.
ABSTRACT Due to its biological significance, cell adhesion to biomaterial surfaces or scaffolds is the key step in biomedical applications. Here, we describe two sensitive and facile methods that quantify the kinetic and mechanic properties of the entire cell attachment process characterized by two parameters: Adhesion Time T(Ad) and Adhesion Force F(Ad). We demonstrate that both methods can be applied to any adherent cell type (e.g., stem or cancer cells), tissue-engineered substrate, and culture condition in a fast, effective, and reproducible manner. Additional investigations about the role of the extracellular matrix and the formation of focal contacts help in acquiring further interpretations of these parameters from biological and mechanical points of view.