Biological adhesion at interfaces

Daniel A. Hammer, Matthew Tirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


In biological adhesion at interfaces, the specific recognition between reactive biomacromolecules or receptors occurs against a backdrop of polymeric and long-range nonspecific forces. We identify the important functional parameters that characterize biomolecule function in adhesion, with an emphasis on receptors that mediate cell rolling. Receptors are the ultimate "smart" materials that can adjust their function in response to environmental changes or biochemical modification. Bioadhesion is often nonideal owing to dissipative processes or interfacial reorganization. Promising new developments to elucidate the functional properties of bioadhesion molecules are probes to measure forces on single adhesive bonds, genetic engineering, molecular reconstitution, computer simulation, and structural analysis and manipulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-691
Number of pages41
JournalAnnual Review of Materials Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological membranes
  • Friction
  • Interfacial forces
  • Ligands
  • Receptors
  • Specific recognition
  • Structure-function relationships


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