a Overview of the bead assay. b 15 min desiccation shock induces carrier-to-monolayer aggregation, which develops as fast as 60 min after injury. Three biological replicates. c, d Nanoluciferase assay to measure adhesion propensity. Desiccation shock and talcum powder both induce carrier-to-monolayer aggregation. Four biological replicates; ***p < 0.001, two-tailed Mann–Whitney (c) and Kruskal–Wallis followed by Dunn’s (d). e Side view of live imaged bead-monolayer adhesion showing exerted pulling forces. Scale bar, 10 µm. Representative images of three biological replicates. f Adhesion severity (see Methods) increases with time. Black arrows, suture sites. Red arrows, secondary organ attachments. Four biological replicates; ***p < 0.001, two-tailed Mann–Whitney. g Immunoblot of lysed Met-5A cells, various time points after a 15 min desiccation shock. GAPDH serves as loading control. Representative images of three biological replicates. h Immunoblot of excised murine adhesion tissue, various time points after injury. Representative images of three biological replicates. i Delayed matrix deposition in vitro in stressed carriers (dark spheres)-to-monolayer (Masson Trichrome staining). Representative images of ten biological replicates. Scale bar, 500 µm. j Masson Trichrome of adhesion tissue section 5–14 days after injury. Representative images of three biological replicates. Scale bar, 100 µm. k Schematic overview of the sequence of events characteristic of adhesion development in both the carrier assay and in vivo model. Error bars represent standard error of the mean.