[Jove] A Customizable Chamber for Measuring Cell Migration
Cell migration is a vital part of immune responses, growth, and wound healing. Cell migration is a complex process that involves interactions between cells, the extracellular matrix, and soluble and non-soluble chemical factors (e.g., chemoattractants). Standard methods for measuring the migration of cells, such as the Boyden chamber assay, work by counting cells on either side of a divider. These techniques are easy to use; however, they offer little geometric modification for different applications. In contrast, microfluidic devices can be used to observe cell migration with customizable concentration gradients of soluble factors1,2. However, methods for making microfluidics based assays can be difficult to learn.
Here, we describe an easy method for creating cell culture chambers to measure cell migration in response to chemical concentration gradients. Our cell migration chamber method can create different linear concentration gradients in order to study cell migration for a variety of applications. This method is relatively easy to use and is typically performed by undergraduate students.
The microchannel chamber was created by placing an acrylic insert in the shape of the final microchannel chamber well into a Petri dish. After this, poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) was poured on top of the insert. The PDMS was allowed to harden and then the insert was removed. This allowed for the creation of wells in any desired shape or size. Cells may be subsequently added to the microchannel chamber, and soluble agents can be added to one of the wells by soaking an agarose block in the desired agent. The agarose block is added to one of the wells, and time-lapse images can be taken of the microchannel chamber in order to quantify cell migration. Variations to this method can be made for a given application, making this method highly customizable.
Aniqa N. Chowdhury1, Huu Tri Vo1, Sharon Olang1, Elliott Mappus1, Brian Peterson1, Nora Hlavac1, Tyler Harvey1, Delphine Dean1
1Department of Bioengineering, Clemson University
Chowdhury, A. N., Vo, H. T., Olang, S., Mappus, E., Peterson, B., Hlavac, N., et al. A Customizable Chamber for Measuring Cell Migration. J. Vis. Exp. (121), e55264, doi:10.3791/55264 (2017).