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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;769:25-30. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-207-6_2.

Scratch-wound assay.

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Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.


The scratch-wound assay is a simple, reproducible assay commonly used to measure basic cell migration parameters such as speed, persistence, and polarity. Cells are grown to confluence and a thin "wound" introduced by scratching with a pipette tip. Cells at the wound edge polarise and migrate into the wound space. Advantages of this assay are that it does not require the use of specific chemoattractants or gradient chambers and it generates a strong directional migratory response, even in cell types that do not show robust responses in "single cell" migration assays. It is most reliably analysed when performed using time-lapse imaging, which can also yield valuable cell morphology/protein localisation information.

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