We present simulations of cell-cell adhesion as reported in a recent study [. Liu et al., 2010, PNAS, 107(22), 9944-9] for two cells seeded on an array of micro-posts. The micro-post array allows for the measurement of forces exerted by the cell and these show that the cell-cell tugging stress is a constant and independent of the cell-cell junction area. In the current study, we demonstrate that a material model which includes the underlying cellular processes of stress fibre contractility and adhesion formation can capture these results. The simulations explain the experimentally observed phenomena whereby the cell-cell junction forces increase with junction size but the tractions exerted by the cell on the micro-post array are independent of the junction size. Further simulations on different types of micro-post arrays and cell phenotypes are presented as a guide to future experiments.
WR and PMcG acknowledge Science Foundation Ireland grant 10/RFP/ENM2960 and Short Term Travel Fellowship (STTF 11).
- Cell-cell junctions
- Junction force
- Myosin contractility
- Stress fibre