Cell Migration, Invasion and Wound Healing

Cell migration is a highly integrated, multi-step process that plays an important role in the progression of various diseases including cancer, atherosclerosis and arthritis. There are various types and definitions of cell migration.

Cell invasion is related to, and encompasses, cell migration, except that cells do more than migrate. Invasive cells move through the extracellular matrix into neighboring tissues in a process that involves ECM degradation and proteolysis.

We offer cell migration assays in two formats:

  • Boyden Chamber Assays consist of a cell culture insert nested in the well of cell culture plate. Cells are seeded into the insert and migrate through the pores of the membrane at the bottom of the insert.
  • Gap Closure Assays create a defined area across which cells migrate. Cell migration can be monitored in real time by microscopy. These assays include our new proprietary Radius™ technology which uses a biocompatible hydrogel to create a circular area across which cells can migrate, and our Wound Healing Assay which is a more consistent alternative to the traditional scratch assay.

Use the following table to help determine which cell migration assay format is best for you.


Boyden Chamber Assays

2D Migration Gap Closure Assays

Analysis Quantitative Qualitative or Quantitative
Detection Time Endpoint Endpoint or Real Time
Detection Method Plate Reader Microscopy
Cell Compatibility Choose membrane pore size to match cell type Any
Chemoattractant Gradient Yes No
Sensitivity Fair Good
Adaptability to Automation Poor Good
Most Suitable Application Measure effect of chemoattractant on migration rates Measure differences in migration rates between treated and untreated cells