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Mol Biotechnol. 2002 Mar;20(3):285-304.

Improving fluorescence-based assays for the in vitro analysis of cell adhesion and migration.

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Division for Experimental Oncology 2, The National Cancer Institute CRO-IRCCS, Aviano, PN, Italy.


Cell adhesion and cell migration are two primary cellular phenomena to be approached in vitro in order to allow for the effective dissection of the individual events and the unravelling of their underlying molecular mechanisms. The use of assays dedicated to the analysis of cell adhesion and migration in vitro also affords an efficient way of conducting larger basic and applied research screenings of the conditions affecting these processes and are potentially exploitable in the context of routine tests in the biological and medical fields. Therefore, there is a substantial interest in devicing more rationale such assays and major contributions in this direction have been provided by the advent of procedures based on fluorescent cell tagging. In this article we describe three fluorescence-based model assays for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of cell adhesion and cell locomotion in static and dynamic conditions. The assays are easily performed, accurate and reproducible, and can be automatized for high-throughput screenings of cell behavior in vitro. Performance of the assays involves the use of certain dedicated disposable accessories, which are commercially available, and a few instruments that, due to their versatility, can be regarded as constituents of a more generic laboratory setup.

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