Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21993647
Methods Mol. Biol. 2012;799:185-95
Shear stress levels generated by circulating blood have a strong impact on biological processes taking place in the vasculature. It is therefore important to take them into account when studying infectious agents targeting the endothelium. Here we describe a protocol using disposable laminar-flow chambers and video microcopy to study bacterial infections in an environment that mimics the bloodstream. We initially focused on the interaction of Neisseria meningitidis with human endothelial cells and determined that shear stress is an important factor for the pathogen’s initial adhesion and for the formation of micro-colonies. The experimental set-up can be used to investigate other pathogens that interact with the endothelium as well as with other sites where shear stress is present.