Automation of Both Sample Preparation and Analysis of a Cell Migration Assay
Sarah E. Burroughs, Keren I. Hulkower, Simone Schicktanz, Timothy E. Cloutier PerkinElmer, Inc. and Platypus Technologies, LLC
The ability of cells to migrate enables a variety of important physiological events, such as immune response and wound healing. Conversely, aberrant cell migration can contribute to cancer and other diseases. Understanding the signaling pathways involved in migration is crucial for discovering new targets to develop drugs that affect migration. Because cell migration is a phenotypic or whole-cell event, it can be challenging to conduct and quantitatively analyze such cell-based assays in a screening format. Automation of such assays allows researchers to analyze more compounds and concentrations than would be feasible with manual methods. With advances in migration plate technology and coupling to automated liquid handling, it is now possible to increase one’s capacity to run these important assays. However, liquid handling automation parameters are critical and must be optimized so as not to interfere with the biology or its analysis. Here we demonstrate a successful automation of sample preparation for Platypus Technologies' Oris™ Pro Cell Migration Assay on a PerkinElmer JANUS® Automated Workstation. In addition, quantitation of such assays is now possible with multi-mode detection and High Content Screening (HCS) technologies. Analysis of cell migration using the Operetta® High Content Imaging System as well as the EnSpire® Multimode Plate Reader shows the assay to be a robust and reproducible quantification of cell motility.