skip to main content


Title: Understanding dynamic changes in live cell adhesion with neutron reflectometry

In this study, neutron reflectometry (NR) was used to examine various live cells' adhesion to quartz substrates under different environmental conditions, including flow stress. To the best of our knowledge, these measurements represent the first successful visualization and quantization of the interface between live cells and a substrate with sub-nanometer resolution. In our first experiments, we examined live mouse fibroblast cells as opposed to past experiments using supported lipids, proteins, or peptide layers with no associated cells. We continued the NR studies of cell adhesion by investigating endothelial monolayers and glioblastoma cells under dynamic flow conditions. We demonstrated that neutron reflectometry is a powerful tool to study the strength of cellular layer adhesion in living tissues, which is a key factor in understanding the physiology of cell interactions and conditions leading to abnormal or disease circumstances. Continuative measurements, such as investigating changes in tumor cell — surface contact of various glioblastomas, could impact advancements in tumor treatments. In principle, this can help us to identify changes that correlate with tumor invasiveness. Pursuit of these studies can have significant medical impact on the understanding of complex biological problems and their effective treatment, e.g. for the development of targeted anti-invasive therapies.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States)
  3. Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
  4. NDA Analytics, Cambridgeshire (United Kingdom)
  5. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
  6. Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0217-9849
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Modern Physics Letters B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 28; Journal Issue: 30; Journal ID: ISSN 0217-9849
World Scientific Publishing
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; cells; endothelial monolayer; glioblastomas; adhesion; shear stress; neutron scattering
OSTI Identifier: