The quantification of eukaryotic cellular migration has been greatly aided by image analysis technologies such as the Sorcerer image analysis system from Perceptive Instruments. One of the most popular methods for studying cell migration in response to stimulatory agents involves the movement of cells through pore-containing membrane filters.
In membrane filter assays, two commonly used filter types are polycarbonate and cellulose nitrate. Polycarbonate membranes, which are only 10 µm in thickness, are substantially thinner than cellulose nitrate membranes, which are 100-150 µm in thickness. Cells that migrate through polycarbonate filters have a relatively short distance to move in order to pass through the filter, and all the responding cells are found in one optical plane of the filter. In contrast, cells that migrate into cellulose nitrate membranes do not move uniformly through the filter to the opposing surface, and consequently cells are found in numerous optical planes throughout the filter.
Sorcerer Image Analysis System
Powerful image analysis system provides instant results
The Sorcerer image analysis system, coupled to a light microsope, uses a high sensitivity CCD camera to produce a live video picture of stained cells on the membrane filter. Sorcerer is able to detect stained cells in the video image by virtue of contrast differences between the cells and the filter background. The system automatically counts cells that have migrated through thin polycarbonate membranes, or partially through thick cellulose nitrate membranes.
With Sorcerer's OLE connection to Microsoft Excel, spreadsheet analysis of the cell count information can be used to generate data tables and graphs showing cell migration in response to stimulatory agents.
Sorcerer for Chemotaxis assays