Measuring Cell Motility Using Quantum Dot Probes
Part of the
Methods in Molecular Biology
book series (MIMB, volume 374)
The ability of cancer cells to migrate and metastasize is known to be directly related to tumor cell motility. Therefore, assaying the level of tumor cell motility is an excellent indicator of metastatic potential. We have developed an efficient and sensitive two-dimensional cell motility assay to image the phagokinetic uptake of colloidal CdSe/ZnS semiconductor nanocrystals (quantum dots [QDs]).
As cells move across a thin, homogeneous layer of QDs, they engulf and uptake the nanocrystals and leave behind a fluorescent-free trail. By measuring the ratio of trail area to cell area we have discovered that it is possible to distinguish between noninvasive and invasive cancer cells lines. This technique has, therefore, the potential to be used as a rapid, robust, and quantitative in vitro measure of metastatic potential. Because the technique only relies on fluorescence detection, requires no significant data processing, and is used with live cells, it is both rapid and straightforward.
Key WordsFluorescent semiconductor nanocrystals quantum dots cell motility cell migration motility assay
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