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.
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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