|overlap index||medical dictionary|
<cell biology> A measure of the extent to which a population of cells in culture forms multilayers. The predicted amount of overlapping is calculated knowing the cell density, the projected area of the nucleus (usually) and assuming a Poisson distribution. The actual overlap is measured on fixed and stained preparations and the ratio of actual/predicted is derived. A value of 1 implies a random distribution with no constraint on overlapping, normal fibroblasts may have values as low as 0.05. Although a useful measure it does not unambiguously indicate the reason for the effect, which may be contact inhibition of locomotion or differential adhesion of cells between substratum and other cells.
This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology
(11 Mar 2008)
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