Adhesion and stress relaxation forces between melanoma and cerebral endothelial cells

Attila G. Végh, Csilla Fazakas, Krisztina Nagy, Imola Wilhelm, Judit Molnár, István A. Krizbai, Zsolt Szegletes, György Váró

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanical parameters play a crucial role in proper cellular functions. This article examines the process of the appearance and breaking of adhesion forces during contact between the confluent cerebral endothelial cell layer and a melanoma cell attached to a tipless cantilever. This adhesion is the initial phase of melanoma transmigration through the endothelial cell layer. Taking the force measurement, if the contact was prolonged for several seconds, a decrease in the load force was observed, which corresponds to stress relaxation of the cells. The dependence of adhesion force and stress relaxation on dwell time showed a saturation-like behavior. These stress relaxation curves could be fitted with the sum of two exponentials, suggesting that two independent processes take place simultaneously. The breakup of the adhesion during the retraction of the cantilever with the attached melanoma cell is not continuous but shows jumps. Between living endothelial and melanoma cells, a minimum jump size of about 20 pN could be determined. The minimum jump is independent of the dwell time and load force. It seems to be the elementary binding force between these two cell types. In case of fixed endothelial cells, the adhesion force was strongly decreased and the jumps disappeared, whereas the stress relaxation did not show considerable change upon fixation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2012


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Cell elasticity
  • Cell-cell interaction
  • Endothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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