Send to

Choose Destination
J Theor Biol. 2010 Feb 7;262(3):478-87. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2009.10.015. Epub 2009 Oct 14.

Maximum likelihood estimation of the kinetics of receptor-mediated adhesion.

Author information

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Adhesion flow assays are commonly employed to characterize the kinetics and force-dependence of receptor-ligand interactions. As transient cellular adhesion events are often mediated by a small number of receptor-ligand complexes (tether bonds) their durations are highly variable, which in turn presents obstacles to standard methods of analysis. In this paper, we employ the stochastic approach to chemical kinetics to construct the pause time distribution. Using this distribution, we develop a robust maximum likelihood (ML) approach to the robust estimation of rate constants associated with receptor-mediated transient adhesion and their confidence intervals. We then formulate robust estimators of the parameters of models for the force-dependence of the off-rate. Lastly, we develop a robust method of elucidation of the force-dependence of the off-rate using Akaike's information criterion (AIC). Our findings conclusively demonstrate that ML estimators of adhesion kinetics are substantial improvements over more conventional approaches, and when combined with Fisher information, they may be used to objectively and reproducibly distinguish the kinetics of different receptor-ligand complexes. Software for the implementation of these methods with experimental data is publicly available as for download at

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center