Adhesive interactions of cells with blood vessel walls under flow conditions are critical to a variety of processes, including hemostasis, leukocyte trafficking, tumor metastasis, and atherosclerosis. We have developed a new technique for the observation of binding interactions under shear, which we have termed the "blot rolling assay." In this method, molecules in a complex mixture are resolved by gel electrophoresis and transferred to a membrane. This membrane can be rendered semitransparent and incorporated into a parallel-plate flow chamber apparatus. Cells or particles bearing adhesion proteins of interest are then introduced into the chamber under controlled flow, and their interactions with individual components of the immobilized substrates can be visualized in real time. The substrate molecules can be identified by staining with specific antibodies or by excising the relevant band(s) and performing mass spectrometry or microsequencing of the isolated material. Thus, this method allows for the identification, within a complex mixture and without previous isolation or purification, of both known and novel adhesion molecules capable of binding under shear conditions.