Jackson K.B Cahn

Graduation Year


Date of Thesis Acceptance

Fall 5-12-2010

Major Department or Program

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology


Douglas Juers


To use a material for the construction of a bone implant or drug delivery system, it is crucial to understand how the cells of the body will react to the material, and k ey to that reaction is cellular adhesion. Colloid - probe atomic force microscopy (AFM) i s useful for investigating these interactions because of its sensitivity, versatility and ability to measure adhesive interactions with individual cells. Cellular adhesion can be rapidly characterized b y attaching a microsphere of the material to the AFM cantilever, and measuring the forces exerted during contact with the cell . We have investigated the pretreatment of borosilicate glass probes with serum - free and serum - containing media, and shown that , in the absence of serum , the measured adhesive force d ecreases non - linearly with increasing use, suggesting that the probe becomes coated with biological molecules such as protei ns, and that the serum - free media pretreatment results in a slower decay in adhesion than seen with spheres pretreated with water alone. We discuss how this work fits into the broader understanding of the relationship between adhesive and non-adhesive proteins in determining the behavior of a surface.

Page Count


Subject Headings

Drug delivery systems, Cell adhesion, Colloids, Atomic Force Microscopy, Serum-free culture media, Adhesives, Biomedical materials -- Application, Bioactive glasses -- Borosilicate glass, Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2010 -- Biochemistry‚ Biophysics‚ and Molecular Biology

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Public Accessible Thesis

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