Understanding the movement of cultured cells improves the understanding of cell movement and signaling in living organisms. The HoloMonitor® time-lapse cytometer offers unambiguous, non-invasive quantification of cell migration and motility.

Cell movement is categorized by non-directional cell motility speed and by directional migration velocity. Motility is regarded as random cell movement occurring in almost every cell culture while migration is a response to a cell attractant or repellent.

HoloMonitor has been used for live cell imaging and tracking of fibroblasts, cultured on nanowire arrays. The motility of the cells decreased when growing on nanowires compared to growing on normal polystyrene plastics. HoloMonitor was also used to study the motility of breast cancer stem cells treated with a drug candidate. The drug candidate affected the motility of stem cells specifically. HoloMonitor was the instrument of choice as cells can be long term analyzed in normal cell growth media and environment, with no labeling, staining or phototoxicity.

In this application note, we illustrate how HoloMonitor can be used to quantify and distinguish between cell migration and motility. Movement of individual cells was quantified at room temp and at 37˚ C, and scratch assay used to distinguish between migration and motility.