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Biotechniques. 2017 Dec 1;63(6):267-274. doi: 10.2144/000114619.

Linear array of multi-substrate tracts for simultaneous assessment of cell adhesion, migration, and differentiation.

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Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.
Department of Pharmacology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC.


Cell migration, which is central to a wide variety of life processes, involves integration of the extracellular matrix (ECM) with the internal cytoskeleton and motor proteins via receptors spanning the plasma membrane. Cell migration can be induced by a variety of signals, including gradients of external soluble molecules, differences in ECM composition, or electrical gradients. Current in vitro methods to study cell migration only test one substrate at a time. Here, we present a method for assessing cell adhesion, migration, and differentiation in up to 20 different test conditions simultaneously, using only minute amounts of target substrate. Our system, which we call the linear array of multi-substrate cell migration assay (LAMA), has two configurations for direct comparison of one or two cell types in response to an array of ECM constituents under the same culture conditions. This culture model utilizes only nanogram amounts of test substrates and a minimal number of cells, which maximizes the use of limited and expensive test reagents. Moreover, LAMA can also be used for high-throughput screening of potential pharmaceuticals that target ECM-dependent cell behavior and differentiation.


cell migration; differentiation assay; gap closure assays; wound healing

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