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J Biomech Eng. 2006 Apr;128(2):271-8.

Design of a side-view particle imaging velocimetry flow system for cell-substrate adhesion studies.

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Department of Bioengineering, The Pennsylvania State University, 205 Hallowell Building, University Park, PA 16802-6804, USA.


Experimental models that mimic the flow conditions in microcapillaries have suggested that the local shear stresses and shear rates can mediate tumor cell and leukocyte arrest on the endothelium and subsequent sustained adhesion. However, further investigation has been limited by the lack of experimental models that allow quantitative measurement of the hydrodynamic environment over adherent cells. The purpose of this study was to develop a system capable of acquiring quantitative flow profiles over adherent cells. By combining the techniques of side-view imaging and particle image velocimetry (PIV), an in vitro model was constructed that is capable of obtaining quantitative flow data over cells adhering to the endothelium. The velocity over an adherent leukocyte was measured and the shear rate was calculated under low and high upstream wall shear. The microcapillary channel was modeled using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the calculated velocity profiles over cells under the low and high shear rates were compared to experimental results. The drag force applied to each cell by the fluid was then computed. This system provides a means for future study of the forces underlying adhesion by permitting characterization of the local hydrodynamic conditions over adherent cells.

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