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Cell Aggregation and Sphere Packing

By Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

This module introduces the calculation of packing density in the context of understanding cell aggregation and arrangement. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

Listed in Teaching Materials | resource by group Quantitative Biology at Community Colleges

Version 1.0 - published on 15 Feb 2019 doi:10.25334/Q4MF1S - cite this

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

spherefig1.gif spherefig2.gif spherefig3.gif


Student Introduction: Many biological processes involve the aggregation of cells into a cluster. For example, in animals, small cells called platelets cluster at the site of an injury to the skin or blood vessels. Also, during the development of an embryo, space between aggregated cells decreases and cell-to-cell contact increases. The amount of space between aggregated cells can affect the permeability of solutes into the cells from the surrounding solution. The number of cell-to-cell contacts, places where the cell membranes of different cells touch, can affect flow of solutes and communication between cells.


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