Journal or Book Title
Cell clustering and scattering play important roles in cancer progression and tissue engineering. While the extracellular matrix (ECM) is known to control cell clustering, much of the quantitative work has focused on the analysis of clustering between cells with strong cell-cell junctions. Much less is known about how the ECM regulates cells with weak cell-cell contact. Clustering characteristics were quantified in rat adenocarcinoma cells, which form clusters on physically adsorbed collagen substrates, but not on covalently attached collagen substrates. Covalently attaching collagen inhibited desorption of collagen from the surface. While changes in proliferation rate could not explain differences seen in the clustering, changes in cell motility could. Cells plated under conditions that resulted in more clustering had a lower persistence time and slower migration rate than those under conditions that resulted in less clustering. Understanding how the ECM regulates clustering will not only impact the fundamental understanding of cancer progression, but also will guide the design of tissue engineered constructs that allow for the clustering or dissemination of cells throughout the construct.
Hou, Yue; Rodriguez, Laura L.; Wang, Juan; and Schneider, Ian C., "Collagen attachment to the substrate controls cell clustering through migration" (2014). Chemical and Biological Engineering Publications. 259.