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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;769:149-65. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-207-6_11.

In vitro analysis of chemotactic leukocyte migration in 3D environments.

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Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Am Campus 1, Klosterneuburg, Austria.


Cell migration on two-dimensional (2D) substrates follows entirely different rules than cell migration in three-dimensional (3D) environments. This is especially relevant for leukocytes that are able to migrate in the absence of adhesion receptors within the confined geometry of artificial 3D extracellular matrix scaffolds and within the interstitial space in vivo. Here, we describe in detail a simple and economical protocol to visualize dendritic cell migration in 3D collagen scaffolds along chemotactic gradients. This method can be adapted to other cell types and may serve as a physiologically relevant paradigm for the directed locomotion of most amoeboid cells.

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