A simplified method for quantifying cell migration/wound healing in 96-well plates

J Biomol Screen. 2010 Apr;15(4):427-33. doi: 10.1177/1087057110361772. Epub 2010 Mar 5.


Cell migration plays a key role in both normal physiological and pathological conditions. The study of cell migration and its underlying mechanisms is of great significance in various fields of research, including basic biology and pharmaceutical development. The cell migration or scratch wounding assay is an easy and economical in vitro method that allows researchers to assess a large number of testing compounds. Even though this simple assay has been used for decades, researchers are still trying to modify such experimental protocols and wounding devices. In this study, an 8-channel mechanical "wounder" was designed for performing a cell migration assay, particularly in a 96-well culture plate format. With special designs of a guiding bar and adjustable pins for use with disposable pipette tips, this wounder confined the scratch area within the center of each well to ensure a perfect contact between the pins and the well surface. As a result, this mechanical wounder produces a uniform denudation of a cell monolayer in a 96-well plate with a wound size of around 600 microm. Using this improved wounding device, the effects of epidermal growth factor and DL-alpha-difluoromethylornithine on the reepithelialization of rat intestinal epithelial cells (IEC-6) and serum on the wound recovery of human umbilical vein endothelial cells were demonstrated. This wounder facilitates cell migration study and can be applicable for multiple sample analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay / instrumentation*
  • Biological Assay / methods*
  • Calibration
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement*
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Rats
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Umbilical Veins / cytology
  • Wound Healing*