Departmental Papers (BE)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

November 2004


Rolling allows leukocytes to maintain adhesion to vascular endothelium and to molecularly coated surfaces in flow chambers. Using insights from adhesive dynamics, a computational method for simulating leukocyte rolling and firm adhesion, we have developed a semianalytic model for the steady-state rolling of a leukocyte. After formation in a force-free region of the contact zone, receptor-ligand bonds are transported into the trailing edge of the contact zone. Rolling velocity results from a balance of the convective flux of bonds and the rate of dissociation at the back edge of the contact zone. We compare the model’s results to that of adhesive dynamics and to experimental data on the rolling of leukocytes, with good agreement. We calculate the dependence of rolling velocity on shear rate, intrinsic forward and reverse reaction rates, bond stiffness, and reactive compliance, and use the model to calculate a state diagram relating molecular parameters and the dynamic state of adhesion. A dimensionless form of the analytic model permits exploration of the parameters that control rolling. The chemical affinity of a receptor-ligand pair does not uniquely determine rolling velocity. We elucidate a fundamental relationship between off-rate, ligand density, and reactive compliance at the transition between firm and rolling adhesion. The model provides a rapid method for screening system parameters for the potential to mediate rolling.


Reprinted from Biophysical Journal, Volume 87, Issue 5, November 2004, pages 2919-2930.
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Date Posted: 20 February 2005

This document has been peer reviewed.