Dynamic states of cancer cells moving under shear flow in an antibody-functionalized microchannel are investigated experimentally and theoretically. The cell motion is analyzed with the aid of a simplified physical model featuring a receptor-coated rigid sphere moving above a solid surface with immobilized ligands. The motion of the sphere is described by the Langevin equation accounting for the hydrodynamic loadings, gravitational force, receptor-ligand bindings, and thermal fluctuations; the receptor-ligand bonds are modeled as linear springs. Depending on the applied shear flow rate, three dynamic states of cell motion have been identified: (i) free motion, (ii) rolling adhesion, and (iii) firm adhesion. Of particular interest is the fraction of captured circulating tumor cells, defined as the capture ratio, via specific receptor-ligand bonds. The cell capture ratio decreases with increasing shear flow rate with a characteristic rate. Based on both experimental and theoretical results, the characteristic flow rate increases monotonically with increasing either cell-receptor or surface-ligand density within certain ranges. Utilizing it as a scaling parameter, flow-rate dependent capture ratios for various cell-surface combinations collapse onto a single curve described by an exponential formula.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering