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Mar 1, 2010 (Vol. 30, No. 5)

Tumor Cell Migration Assays in 3-D ECM

Microfluidics-Based Approach Aims to Improve Assessment of Cell Behavior and Drug Action

  • Laboratory Automation

    The iuvo platform is designed to interface with existing lab automation, including liquid handlers and high-content analysis instruments. The spacing between input ports is 9 mm horizontally and 4.5 mm vertically. This allows a 96-channel head to dispense to all 192 channels in two steps. The entire assay, including cell addition, media changes, and post-assay staining is performed by adding or removing 2–5 µL droplets from the ports. No manual interventions of any kind are required.

    Fluid flow in the channel is driven by droplet-based passive pumping, which relies on the pressure differentials inside droplets of different radii at air-liquid interfaces. For detection of cell positions, cells are stained with fluorescent nuclear dyes, imaged on automated microscopes or high-content analysis instruments, and analyzed using standard object identification algorithms.

  • Profiling Service

    To make this assay available to researchers who do not have appropriate infrastructure, or those who may want to sample the capabilities of this platform without dedicating internal resources, BellBrook Labs offers a compound profiling service for tumor cell migration through 3-D collagen. The service couples the iuvo microconduit array plates with BellBrook’s custom-built automated microscopy station with full environmental control and 3-D imaging algorithms.



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