Direct measurement of the force of adhesion of a single biological cell using an atomic force microscope

W. Richard Bowen, Nidal Hilal, Robert W. Lovitt, Chris J. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)


A fundamental understanding of factors controlling adhesion and the subsequent development of adhesion-free surfaces would benefit greatly from direct measurements of the strength of the adhesive interactions. The key to the technique is the immobilization of a single particle at the end of a cantilever allowing measurement of the interactions between that particle and any surface of interest. Such colloid probes with particles in the size range of 1-5 μm were used to study long-range interactions in solution and also in a few cases the adhesion of inorganic particles. The first use of a single, living, immobilized cell as a cell probe for the study of cell-surface adhesion is reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-234
Number of pages4
JournalColloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes



  • Adhesion
  • AFM
  • Cell probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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