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Stable cell adhesion is vital for structural integrity and functional efficacy. Yet how low affinity adhesion molecules such as CD2 and CD58 can produce stable cell adhesion is still not completely understood. In this paper, we present a theoretical model that simulates the accumulation of CD2 and CD58 in the contact area of a Jurkat T lymphoblast and a CD58-containing substrate. The cell is assumed to have a spherical shape initially and it is allowed to spread gradually on a circular substrate. Mobile CD2 and CD58 can diffuse freely on both the cell and substrate. Their binding in the contact area is controlled by first-order kinetics. The contact area grows linearly with the total number of CD2/CD58 bonds. Cellular deformation and cytoskeleton involvement were not considered. This time-dependent moving-boundary problem was solved with the Crank-Nicolson finite difference scheme and the variable space grid method. Our simulated results are in reasonable agreement with the experimental observations. The role of diffusion becomes more and more prominent during the contact area increase, which is not sensitive to the kinetic rate constants tested in this study. However, it is very sensitive to the dissociation equilibrium constant and the concentrations of CD2 and CD58.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann Biomed Eng

Publication Date





483 - 493


Adhesiveness, Binding Sites, CD2 Antigens, CD58 Antigens, Cell Adhesion, Cell Membrane, Coated Materials, Biocompatible, Diffusion, Humans, Jurkat Cells, Kinetics, Models, Biological, Models, Chemical, Protein Binding