<cell biology> Theory of colloid flocculation advanced independently by Derjaguin & Landau and by Vervey & Overbeek and subsequently applied to cell adhesion.

There exist distances (primary and secondary minima) at which the forces of attraction exceed those of electrostatic repulsion, an adhesion will thus be formed. For cells there is quite good correlation between the calculated separations of primary and secondary minima and the cell separations in tight junctions (1-2nm) and more general cell cell appositions (12-20nm) respectively, although it is clear that other factors (particularly cell adhesion molecules) also play an important part.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)

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