A simple, rapid and precise method, based on a previous method, for measuring relative rates of intercellular adhesion is described. DEAE-Sephadex beads were treated with nitrocellulose in order to allow cells to grow on their surfaces. Balb/c 3T3 and Balb/c 3T12 cells were used to characterize the assay. They formed confluent cell layers on nitrocellulose-treated DEAE-Sephadex. These cell-coated beads were employed to collect 32P-labelled cells from single cell suspensions. Since they formed statistically uniform, large collecting surfaces, the collection of labelled cells was markedly improved as compared to the original assay. The cell-coated beads collected a large percentage of the labelled cells in a short time. The percentage of cells collected was independent of the concentration of labelled cells in the assay mixture, and the collection was linear for approximately 60 min. The variability between replicate assays was usually +/− 5%. The assay allows the rapid and precise determination of intercellular adhesion in large numbers of individual samples. These features make it useful to screen for effects of different treatments on intercellular adhesions.

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