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Adhesion of Biological Membranes

  • Kheya Sengupta
  • Ana-Sunčana SmithEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

One of the most important triggers of cell activity is adhesion, a process by which cells and their organelles interact and attach to substrates, internal scaffolds, external interfaces, or other cells. The physiological and pathological significance of cell adhesion is hard to exaggerate, and adhesion is ubiquitous in the living world. Adhesive contacts need to be able to function in widely varying circumstances and must be established in an extremely noisy environment. For these reasons, the control mechanisms of adhesion have had to develop so as to be able to permanently monitor and correct cellular performance. While a lot of effort has been invested into understanding the biochemical aspect of these processes, the underlying physical principles of adhesion regulation have obtained significantly less appreciation. Only in recent years have these two approaches begun to converge in a unified view. Due to the strong coupling of the biochemical reactions to the spatial coordination provided by membranes and the cytoskeleton, biological signaling is subject to a plethora of physical constraints. Indeed, many signaling pathways, particularly those involving the adhesion, involve protein diffusion and aggregation guided by membranes. It is these aspects of adhesion that can be understood in the framework of statistical physics, as we intend to demonstrate in this short review. Here we summarize the developments in understanding cell and membrane adhesion from a theoretical point of view and support it with experiments in model systems as well as with living cells.

Keywords

Cell adhesion Artificial cell Ligand–receptor interactions Competitive binding Multiscale approaches to adhesion 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to our mentors Erich Sackmann, Udo Seifert, and Rudolf Merkel for their insights and ongoing collaborations. We are thankful to our teams and colleagues who were instrumental in realizing the work summarized herein, especially Susanne Fenz, Cornelia Monzel, Daniel Smith, Timo Bihr, and Laurent Limozin. We thank Josip Augustin Janeš for the help with formatting and proofreading this chapter.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aix-Marseille UniversitéCNRS, CINaM UMR 7325Marseille cedex 9France
  2. 2.PULS Group, Institut für Theoretische Physik and the Excellence Cluster: Engineering of Advanced MaterialsUniversität Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany
  3. 3.Institute Ruđer BoškovićDivision of Physical ChemistryZagrebCroatia

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