DLVO theory

DLVO theory
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.

Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.

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