Product News: New Assay Provides Real-time Insights into Chemotaxis

28 Mar 2011


EMD Millipore, the Life Science division of Merck KGaA* of Germany, today announced the introduction of the Millicell µ-Migration Assay Kit. This innovative slide-based platform can be used to visualize and measure the effects of chemoattractants on the migration of adherent cells in real time. The kit is ideal for studying metastatic behavior or the effects of toxins.

The Boyden chamber is the most commonly used assay for studying chemotaxis. This end-point assay uses chambers separated by a microporous filter. Cells migrate through the filter towards a chemoattractant. Despite its popularity, the assay has limitations. Boyden chambers do not allow for the establishment of a stable linear gradient, so the assay tends to have poor reproducibility. In addition, movement of cells through the filter cannot be visualized.

The Millicell µ-Migration Assay replaces the filter with micro-channels. Cells migrating in these channels can be directly observed and their progress can be quantitatively measured. Real-time observation of individual cells provides insight into a number of cell migration parameters, including directionality, velocity, and the migration index of tracked cells. In addition, the kit provides a stable linear concentration gradient for up to 48 hours.

With high optical properties similar to those of glass, the Millicell µ-Migration slide is suitable for the analysis of slow- or fast-moving cells by video microscopy. Up to three assays can be run in parallel on each slide with approximately 100 to 200 cells per assay.

The kit comes assembled and ready-to-use with a Millicell µ-Migration slide and migration assay reagents. It joins the Millicell µ-Angiogenesis Assay Kits in EMD Millipore's growing portfolio of cell-based assays.