Predicting the kinetics of cell spreading

J Biomech. 2002 Aug;35(8):1137-41. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9290(02)00075-1.


We apply the wetting theory to predict the kinetics of fibroblast spreading onto an adhesive substrate, under simplifying assumptions on the cell structure and geometry. Three main parameters are used: cytoplasmic viscosity, cortical tension, and cell-to-substrate adhesion energy. The viscosity and tension values are taken from previous micromechanical studies. The adhesion energy, ill known, is adjusted by fitting the model predictions to available experimental data of contact radius versus time. The agreement is quite good, justifying such a "macroscopic" view of cell morphology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Size / physiology
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology*
  • Fibroblasts / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Rheology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Surface Properties
  • Viscosity


  • Aldehydes
  • glutaconaldehyde