Effects of Variations in Ligand Density on Cell Signaling

Tushar Satav, Jurriaan Huskens*, Pascal Jonkheijm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple simultaneous interactions between receptors and ligands dictate the extracellular and intracellular activities of cells. The concept of programmable ligand display is generally used to study the interaction between ligands, displayed on surfaces at various densities, with receptors present on cell surfaces. Various strategies are discussed here to display ligands on surfaces to study their effect on cell behavior. Only very few strategies have been reported where this display combines precise control over density with lateral spacing of ligands on surfaces. In this review, selected examples of strategies to control ligand density and spacing and their implications for biological functions of cells are discussed. Ligand density variation technology has recently been developed and its implication on cell signaling pathways has been investigated. This review summarizes recent progress in surface fabrication techniques for tuning the ligand density, and discusses the effect of ligand density variation on the morphological and biochemical properties of cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5184-5199
Number of pages16
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015


  • Cell signaling
  • Ligand density
  • Ligand spacing
  • Multivalency
  • Rreceptor clustering
  • 2023 OA procedure


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