Brownian motion of nucleated cell envelopes impedes adhesion

Alexandra Zidovska, Erich Sackmann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We demonstrate that composite envelopes of nucleated cells exhibit pronounced short wavelength (â‰0.5Îm) bending excitations of â10nm root mean square amplitudes at physiological temperatures, which impede strong adhesion due to entropic repulsion forces. Quantitative microinterferometric analysis of the dynamic cell surface roughness of macrophages in terms of the theory of statistical surfaces suggests that the membrane excitations are mainly thermally driven Brownian motions (although active driving forces may contribute substantially). We determine the effective bending modulus of the cell envelope (â1000kBT), the cortical tension (â10-4Nm-1), and the work of adhesion (â10-5Jm-2).

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number048103
    JournalPhysical Review Letters
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Physics and Astronomy


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