Automation of Both Sample Preparation and Analysis of a Cell Migration Assay
Sarah E Burroughs, Keren Hulkower, Jennifer Fronczak, Simone Schicktanz, Timothy E Cloutier
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. Advances in migration plate technology coupled with automated liquid handling now make it possible to increase one's capacity when performing 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 successful automation of the Platypus Technologies Oris™ Pro Cell Migration Assay set-up on a PerkinElmer JANUS® Automated Liquid Handling Workstation. In addition, quantitation of such assays is now possible with multi-mode detection and High Content Screening (HCS) technologies. Analysis of Oris™ Pro plates using the Operetta® / Harmony® HCS platform and the EnSpire™ multilabel plate reader shows quantification of cell motility to be robust and reproducible.