(Dr. Cheng Zhu, advisor)
"Quantitative Study of Selectin-Mediated Adhesion Under Flow"
During inflammation and thrombosis, leukocytes and platelets primarily tether to and roll on vascular surfaces through selectin molecules under shear flow. Selectins are a family of type I membrane glycoproteins and consist of three types: P-, E-, and L-selectin. The association and dissociation of two or more selectin-mediated bonds produce the rolling motion of the leukocytes. Association and dissociation rates characterize how fast the attachment or detachment of the bonds occurs, respectively. These kinetic properties of the selectins are affected by their mechanical environment as well. Although much has been uncovered about the properties of selectins, the complete story of the selectin-mediated adhesion process is yet to be told. The goal of this research is to use flow chamber techniques to study selectin-mediated cell adhesion to gain a more quantitative understanding of this receptor-ligand binding through the study of P-selectin and E-selectin. This will lead to a better understanding of cancer metastasis, atherosclerosis and any autoimmune disease and possible therapies for these pathologies.