Fluorescence-based assays for in vitro analysis of cell adhesion and migration.

Paola Spessotto, Katia Lacrima, Pier Andrea Nicolosi, Eliana Pivetta, Martina Scapolan, Roberto Perris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cell adhesion and cell migration are two primary cellular phenomena for which in vitro approaches may be exploited to effectively dissect the individual events and underlying molecular mechanisms. The use of assays dedicated to the analysis of cell adhesion and migration in vitro also afford an efficient way of conducting larger basic and applied research screenings on the factors affecting these processes and are potentially exploitable in the context of routine diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tests in the biological and medical fields. Therefore, there is a longstanding continuum in the interest in devising more rationale such assays and major contributions in this direction have been provided by the advent of procedures based on fluorescence cell tagging, the design of instruments capable of detecting fluorescent signals with high sensitivity, and informatic tools allowing sophisticated elaboration of data generated through these instruments. In this report, we describe three representative 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 automated for high-to-medium 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-250
Number of pages30
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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