The cell is the functional basic unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing, and is often called the building block of life. On average, humans have about 100 trillion cells, the typical size of which is on the order of 10 microns. The largest cells are about 135 microns and are found in the anterior horn of the spinal cord, while granule cells in the cerebellum are the smallest cells at about 4 microns.
There are two main types of cells: eukaryotic and prokaryotic. Eukaryotic cells are about 15 times wider than a typical prokaryotic cell and can be as much as 1,000 times greater in volume. The major difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells is that eukaryotic cells contain membrane-bound compartments in which specific metabolic activities take place. Most important among these is the cell nucleus. Prokaryotic cells are simpler and smaller, lacking a nucleus and most of the other organelles of eukaryotic cells.
Researchers focused on cell function are seeking to understand how interactions between specific molecules within cells contribute to cellular process and basic cell function. These interactions are often complex and therefore difficult to elucidate. Some high priority areas of research include efforts to understand mechanisms of cell growth & proliferation, differentiation, and migration as well as cytotoxicity, translocation, and angiogenesis.
Molecular Devices is the leader in cellular imaging, providing the gold standard MetaMorph Research Imaging Software to support basic microscopy as well as the ImageXpress® Velos Laser Scanning Cytometer and ImageXpress High Content Screening Systems.
These tools and instruments enable researchers to study cells that more closely mimic native conditions, generating more biologically relevant results. In addition, high-content analysis generates multi-parametric data, which is crucial to gaining a better understanding of the complex interactions between molecules and signaling pathways. Please select among the links below to learn how we can support the success of your cell function studies.