Cell Migration with and without Strain

Addison K, Frazier C, Wimmer C, Banes AJ. 14th Annual Conference of the North Carolina Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society, Raleigh, NC, September 10, 2012.

Cell migration is a complex process that is essential in wound-healing. The methods of cellular migration include weak-adhesion locomotion or "amoeboid motion", blebbing, or organized cytoskeleton-driven motion. Currently cell migration and wound-healing assays are preformed using hard-plastic or glass lab equipment, static surfaces that do not experience strain. One important factor that affects cell migration is external strain applied to the cell and cellular matrix; this induces an increase and activation of matrix metalloproeinases (MMPs). Increases in MMP-1, 2, 3, 9, and membrane type-1 MMP count have been shown to increase cell migration rates. It is important to test and observe cell migration when exposed to varying levels and patterns of strain similar to what happens with in vivo conditions. Using Flexcell®BioFlex® culture plates, cells can be seeded using the Cell Migration trough loader. This trough loader pulls the membrane into two distinct seeding regions (4mm x 9mm) with a 1000 micron migration gap between the two regions. Migration can be observed in a control group (0% Strain), alongside a group of cells that will be exposed to strain. Using the FX5K™ system, sinusoidal and static strain regimens can be a forced on the flexible silicone membrane upon which the cells are seeded. Results from a non-strained Hela cell control group were obtained by calculating the cell covered area percentage compared to the total image area. Migration rates averaged 370 microns per day for 7 days.