Numerical study on the adhesion of a circulating tumor cell in a curved microvessel

Jingyu Cui, Yang Liu, Lanlan Xiao, Shuo Chen, Bingmei M. Fu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The adhesion of a circulating tumor cell (CTC) in a three-dimensional curved microvessel was numerically investigated. Simulations were first performed to characterize the differences in the dynamics and adhesion of a CTC in the straight and curved vessels. After that, a parametric study was performed to investigate the effects of the applied driven force density f (or the flow Reynolds number Re) and the CTC membrane bending modulus Kb on the CTC adhesion. Our simulation results show that the CTC prefers to adhere to the curved vessel as more bonds are formed around the transition region of the curved part due to the increased cell-wall contact by the centrifugal force. The parametric study also indicates that when the flow driven force f (or Re) increases or when the CTC becomes softer (Kb decreases), the bond formation probability increases and the bonds will be formed at more sites of a curved vessel. The increased f (or Re) brings a larger centrifugal force, while the decreased Kb generates more contact areas at the cell-wall interface, both of which are beneficial to the bond formation. In the curved vessel, it is found that the site where bonds are formed the most (hotspot) varies with the applied f and the Kb. For our vessel geometry, when f is small, the hotspot tends to be within the first bend of the vessel, while as f increases or Kb decreases, the hotspot may shift to the second bend of the vessel.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Cell adhesion
  • Circulating tumor cell
  • Curved microvessel
  • Dissipative particle dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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