Cell Invasion Assays

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Cell invasion graphic.
The basement membrane surrounding the blood vessel endothelium contains a thin, specialized network of ECM proteins. The ability of tumor cells to degrade the ECM components of the basement membrane and surrounding tissues is directly correlated with metastatic potential.

Merck’s QCM™ Boyden chamber cell invasion assays enable convenient and sensitive quantification of in vitro cell invasion through a basement membrane model, where a layer of ECM solution occludes the membrane pores, blocking non-invasive cells from migrating through it.

Our QCM invadopodia assays allow for visualization and quantification of fluorescent-gelatin degradation for the study of ECM degradation.


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT
QCM Invadopodia Gelatin Degradation Assays (Green & Red)
Cell migration across a fluorescently-conjugated matrix. Dark spots are evidence of invadopodia.
Cell migration across a fluorescently-conjugated matrix. Dark spots are evidence of invadopodia.
Cell invasion into the ECM is accompanied by the formation of actin-rich protrusions of localized protease activity, called invadopodia in cancerous cell types and podosomes in non-malignant cells. 

Merck’s innovative QCM Gelatin Invadopodia Assays provide a simplified and standardized protocol for affixing a thin layer of pre-labeled fluorescein (green) or Cy3 (red) gelatin to a glass substrate, as well as reagents for co-localizing the actin cytoskeleton and nuclei with degradation sites. The kits enable visualization of degradation produced by normal and malignant cell types. This degradation can be quantified by image analysis and used to track time-dependent proteolysis and effects of modulators on invadopodia formation and ECM degradation.
  • ECM670 - QCM Gelatin Invadopodia Assay (Green)
  • ECM671 - QCM Gelatin Invadopodia Assay (Red)

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT
QCM ECMatrix™ Cell Invasion Assay, 24-well (8 μm), colorimetric
HT-1080 Cell Invasion is determined by Cell Invasion Assay.
HT-1080 Cell Invasion is determined by Cell Invasion Assay. Invaded cells were visualized by crystal violet staining. NIH3T3 cells were used as a non-invasive control.
The QCM ECMatrix Cell Invasion Assay Kit provides an efficient system for evaluating the invasion of tumor cells through a basement membrane model. This assay is performed in a 24-well tissue culture plate with 12 cell culture inserts, each containing an 8 μm pore size ECM-coated polycarbonate membrane. The kit utilizes ECMatrix™ coatings, a reconstituted basement membrane matrix of proteins derived from the Engelbreth Holm-Swarm (EHS) mouse tumor. The ECM layer occludes the membrane pores, blocking non-invasive cells from migrating through. Invasive cells, on the other hand, migrate through the ECM layer and cling to the bottom of the membrane.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHT
QCM Collagen Cell Invasion Assay, 96-well (8 μm), fluorimetric
Cell Invasion of HT-1080 vs. non-invasive NIH3T3 cells.
Cell Invasion of HT-1080 vs. non-invasive NIH3T3 cells. HT-1080 and NIH3T3 cells were allowed to invade toward 10% FBS for 24 hrs. 250,000 cells were used in each assay.
Collagen, the primary structural element of the basement membrane and tissue scaffolding protein, represents the main deterrent in the migration of tumor cells. The ability to study cell invasion through a collagen barrier, is of vital importance for developing possible metastatic inhibitors and therapeutics. The QCM Collagen Cell Invasion Assay Kit provides an efficient, in vitro system for quantitative, high-throughput analysis of tumor cell invasion. This cell invasion assay kit eliminates cell pre-labeling, fixing/staining, swabbing, and manual counting. The 96-well insert and homogenous fluorescence detection format allows for quantitative comparison of multiple samples.
  • How to select the appropriate pore size for your cells
    1. 3 μm pore size is appropriate for leukocyte or lymphocyte migration. 
    2. 5 µm pore size is appropriate for a subset of fibroblast cells or cancer cells such as NIH-3T3 and MDA-MAB 231 cells. Also suitable for monocytes and macrophages. 
    3. 8 μm pore size is appropriate for most cell types. This pore size supports optimal migration for most epithelial and fibroblast cells. Note - the 8 μm pore size is not appropriate for lymphocyte migration experiments. 

    Click here to match your cell type to its suitable assay pore size.