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Cell Migration Assays

  • Keep instrument free by using discontinuous timelapse and transporting the plate between the imager and incubator
  • Use fluorescently stained or unlabeled cells
  • Scale-up to 96 well microplates for drug screening
  • Create and export movies of live cells maintained and automatically imaged inside the instrument over time
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Measure live cells migrating over time with cell migration assays using automated imaging

The movement or migration of cells is often measured in vitro to elucidate the mechanisms of various physiological activities such as wound healing or cancer cell metastasis. Cell migration assays may be conducted in a controlled environment using live cell timelapse imaging. A "wound" in a confluent monolayer of cells growing in a microplate is created, either by manually creating a scratch or by utilizing special microplates that provide a uniform and reproducible cell-free zone. Monitor cell proliferation, migration, and spreading using transmitted light or live cell-compatible fluorescence. These medium to high throughput assays may be used to compare the migration between cells treated with either inhibitory or stimulatory compounds.

  • Acquisition of discontinuous timelapse images

    ImageXpress Micro System with MetaXpress 6.5+ Software

    MetaXpress software allows the user to easily append acquisitions done at varying intervals into one timelapse experiment for ease of visualization and analysis.

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    Analyze cell area using transmitted light or fluorescence image

    CellReporterXpress Software - Analysis mask to count area of well covered by cells

    In this assay, cell proliferation, migration, and spreading all contributed to the cells’ ability to close the wound. Automated timelapse imaging using transmitted light or live cell-compatible fluorescence provided the means to measure the progress of the “healing”. The images from every time point may be objectively analyzed with high-content image analysis software so that the data can be plotted as a timecourse or evaluated individually at specific time points.

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  • Cell Migration Analysis with Oris Pro Assay

    Cell Migration Analysis with Oris Pro Assay

    This assay uses a non-toxic biocompatible gel to form a cell-free zone in the center of the well. After cells are seeded, the biocompatible gel dissolves, allowing cells to migrate into the detection zone in the center of the well. For images acquired with the MiniMax cytometer, a region of interest corresponding to the detection zone is specified, and the level of cell migration (area covered by cells) is analyzed.

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    Evaluate Cell Migration with Fluoroblok

    Evaluate Cell Migration with Fluoroblok

    The SpectraMax i3x reader and MiniMax cytometer can be used with FluoroBlok cell culture inserts to directly count cells from high-quality images to measure cellular migration over time. SoftMax Pro Software enables users to quickly set up analysis of cell counts via a simple point and click user interface. Image analysis provides accurate data compared to raw fluorescence, which is subject to cellular staining levels and background fluorescence. Using the image acquisition and analysis features of SoftMax Pro Software in combination with the 96-well FluoroBlok format, researchers can rapidly assess a wealth of cellular migration data to advance their studies in cancer and many other areas of biology.

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  • Make movies from timelapse images

    Make movies from Timelapse Images

    With a few clicks in MetaXpress movies can be rendered from raw images, overlaid wavelengths, or analysis masks.

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    Measure Cell Migration

    Measure Cell Migration

    Cell migration, the relocation of cells, is relevant to wound healing, immunology, embryonic development, and irregular cellular events such as cancer metastasis. Cell migration assays are used to measure cell motility in a controlled environment, and both “scratch” assays and assays utilizing microplates with pre-formed “wounds” are frequently utilized for this purpose. By conducting the assay in a 96 or 384 well microplate, several compounds that may affect the cell’s ability to migrate, such as chemotherapeutic compounds or drugs to speed up wound healing, may be tested in one controlled experiment with adequate replicates.

  • Objective Quantification of Cell Migration

    Objective Quantification of Cell Migration

    Cell migration is a key process in normal development, immune function and wound healing. Abnormal cell migration is a feature of conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. The CloneSelect Imager system reveals the in vitro effects of therapeutic candidates and cell culture matrices on cell migration as well as the study of cell-to-cell interactions. Migration application software in CloneSelect Imager enables measurement of cell migration based on objective cell detection.

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    Sort values to view your data of interest

    ImageXpress Pico System with CellReporterXpress Software - Table Analysis

    The table analysis format can be used to view results for measurements of interest without having to look within individual wells. The table analysis format also allows users to sort values by columns.

  • Visualize trends for measurements of interest

    ImageXpress Pico System with CellReporterXpress Software - Scatter Plot Analysis

    The scatter plot analysis format allows users to identify trends for measurements of interest between selected wells. In this example, we see that cells treated with Cytochalasin D did not migrate into the cell-free zone as completely as the untreated control.

    Whole plate overview

    ImageXpress Pico System with CellReporterXpress Software - intuitive image visualization

    A montage of thumbnails of low magnification images (4X) of an OrisPro Cell Migration Assay in 96 well format illustrates the benefit of a consistent cell-free zone for measuring cell migration.

Resources for Cell Migration Assays

Videos & Webinars

Live Cell Migration

Make movies from timelapse images

ImageXpress Micro

Acquire a discontinuous time-lapse video on ImageXpress Micro

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