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Djukelic, Mario; Wixforth, Achim; Westerhausen, Christoph (2017): Influence of neighboring adherent cells on laminar flow induced shear stress in vitro-A systematic study. In: Biomicrofluidics, Vol. 11, No. 2, 24115
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Cells experience forces if subjected to laminar flow. These forces, mostly of shear force character, are strongly dependent not only on the applied flow field itself but also on hydrodynamic effects originating from neighboring cells. This particularly becomes important for the interpretation of data from in vitro experiments in flow chambers without confluent cell layers. By employing numerical Finite Element Method simulations of such assemblies of deformable objects under shear flow, we investigate the occurring stress within elastic adherent cells and the influence of neighboring cells on these quantities. For this, we simulate single and multiple adherent cells of different shapes fixed on a solid substrate under laminar flow parallel to the substrate for different velocities. We determine the local stress within the cells close to the cell-substrate-interface and the overall stress of the cells by surface integration over the cell surface. Comparing each measurand in the case of a multiple cell situation with the corresponding one of single cells under identical conditions, we introduce a dimensionless influence factor. The systematic variation of the distance and angle between cells, where the latter is with respect to the flow direction, flow velocity, Young's modulus, cell shape, and cell number, enables us to describe the actual influence on a cell. Overall, we here demonstrate that the cell density is a crucial parameter for all studies on flow induced experiments on adherent cells in vitro. Published by AIP Publishing.