Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 811–817 | Cite as

Critical fluid shear stress analysis for cell–polymer adhesion

  • Aracely Rocha
  • Mariah Hahn
  • Hong LiangEmail author


A simple methodology to assess cell adhesion on materials was developed. We demonstrated that the cell adhesion strength could be quantified. Using this method, we were able to compare the NIH/3T3 Swiss mouse fibroblasts adhesion strength to poly(methyl methacrylate) and polycarbonate. A controlled fluid shear stress was applied to cells using a parallel plate rotational system. Cells detached from the surface in the radial direction. Results showed that there was a critical radius where the shear stress experienced by the cells equaled the cell adhesion strength. The cells outside this radius were removed while those inside maintained initial confluency. The quantitative evaluation of cell adhesion is beneficial for development of biomaterials.


Shear Stress PMMA Adhesion Strength Maximum Shear Stress Critical Radius 



This research was in part sponsored by the NSF (0535578), the NSF–Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Bridge-to-the-Doctorate Fellowship, the Texas A&M University, and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). SEM analysis by Song Du, cell culture experiments assisted by Daniel Munoz Pinto, and support on TA Instruments by Sean Kohl are greatly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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