The kinetics of spreading of trypsinized FL cells on plastic or glass substrata covalently or passively coated with various proteins to make simplified model extracellular matrices have been measured. Kinetics have also been obtained in the presence and absence of serum and amniotic fluid. Data from such experiments are shown to be sigmoid and have been computer-fitted with great accuracy to 12 mathematical models discussed in the accompanying paper. A log normal distribution function is shown to give the best fit over 18 different types of experiment. For the first time, therefore, such data can be characterized quantitatively and compared. We obtain the simple parameters mu (mean time to spread) and sigma (standard error of the mean) and show that the cells spread most rapidly in amniotic fluid or on fibronectin ‘carpets’. They also spread rapidly on a fibronectin-fibrinogen complex extracted from placenta. Spreading is slower in serum, in amniotic fluid lacking fibronectin and on type I collagen or cellular microexudate from FL cells or fibroblasts. On concanavalin A, spreading is rapid but the distribution of times to spread (as expressed by sigma) is relatively wide.

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