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

Download Scientific Poster

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.

Use a simple scratch assay, with continuous or discontinuous timelapse acquisition, to evaluate wound healing

Wound healing can be assessed by acquiring images with a transmitted light or fluorescence microscope and quantifying using a third party analysis software but the throughput is low. For a higher-throughput microplate format, an automated imaging system paired with analysis software is a more efficient solution. Molecular Devices offers different options for automated imagers so that labs can select a system that best fits their research or screening needs.
  • Make movies from timelapse images

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

    Watch the video  

    Acquisition of discontinuous timelapse images

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

    Watch the video  

  • Whole plate overview

    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.

    Analyze cell area using transmitted light or fluorescence image

    Area covered increases as cells migrate into the cell-free-zone

    Read Application Note  

  • Sort values to view your data of interest

    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

    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.

Resources for Cell Migration Assays

Videos and Demos

Live Cell Migration

Make movies from timelapse images

ImageXpress Micro

Acquire a discontinuous time-lapse video on ImageXpress Micro

Related Products And Services

Ready to get started?

We are ready to help you solve your tough research challenges. Our proven solutions and highly qualified teams across the globe can help advance your next big discovery.

Maximize flexibility in application workflow and experimental design

Contact our specialist today to discuss how to implement a solution that works for you