Mean encounter times for cell adhesion in hydrodynamic flow: Analytical progress by dimensional reduction
2008
Authors: Korn OB, Schwarz US
CellNetworks People: Schwarz Ulrich
Journal: 2008 EPL 83 28007

For a cell moving in hydrodynamic flow above a wall, translational and rotational degrees of freedom are coupled by the Stokes equation. In addition, there is a close coupling of convection and diffusion due to the position-dependent mobility. These couplings render calculation of the mean encounter time between cell surface receptors and ligands on the substrate very difficult. Here we show for a two-dimensional model system how analytical progress can be achieved by treating motion in the vertical direction by an effective reaction term in the mean first passage time equation for the rotational degree of freedom. The strength of this reaction term can either be estimated from equilibrium considerations or used as a fit parameter. Our analytical results are confirmed by computer simulations and allow to assess the relative roles of convection and diffusion for different scaling regimes of interest.