Advances in wound-healing assays for probing collective cell migration

J Lab Autom. 2012 Feb;17(1):59-65. doi: 10.1177/2211068211426550.


Collective cell migration plays essential roles in a wide spectrum of biological processes, such as embryogenesis, tissue regeneration, and cancer metastasis. Numerous wound-healing assays based on mechanical, chemical, optical, and electrical approaches have been developed to create model "wounds" in cell monolayers to study the collective cell migration processes. These approaches can result in different microenvironments for cells to migrate and possess diverse assay characteristics in terms of simplicity, throughput, reproducibility, and multiplexability. In this review, we provide an overview of advances in wound-healing assays and discuss their advantages and limitations in studying collective cell migration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Automation, Laboratory* / instrumentation
  • Automation, Laboratory* / methods
  • Cell Culture Techniques*
  • Cell Migration Assays*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays*
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Robotics / trends
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Wound Healing*