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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2002 Feb;38(2):97-101.

An improved method for the collagen gel contraction assay.

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The Hope Heart Institute, Seattle, Washington 98104, USA.


The collagen gel contraction (CGC) assay is used frequently to study the cell-mediated reorganization of the extracellular natrix. In a typical CGC assay, cells embedded in a disk-shaped lattice (gel) of native type I collagen fibers compress the fibers and, consequently, reduce the diameter of the collagen disk within h or d. The degree to which the collagen is contracted is usually quantified by measurement of the diameter or the area of the disk. During CCC assays, friction or adhesion (or both) between gels and their culture containers can cause gels to be incompletely contracted or to acquire distorted shapes. Such occurrences degrade the reproducibility and reliability of measurements of gel dimensions. To address these problems, we developed an oil-supported collagen retraction (OSCR) assay that creates an environment of low friction and adhesion around the contracting collagen gel. The OSCR assay is accomplished with simple equipment and is easily performed, sensitive, and consistently yields fully contracted gels with minimal distortion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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