Wound healing assays measure cell migration over a two-dimensional (2D) monolayer. As cell migration takes place throughout numerous physiological processes, it has been studied in a variety of contexts from tissue injury, wound healing, cancer metastasis and more. Throughout the following post, we will explain the applications of wound healing assays and the importance of each.
How Do Wound Healing Assays Work?
A wound-healing assay is a straightforward, cost-effective method to study cell migration. It is also called a scratch essay because the test is carried out by scratching through a cell monolayer and then observed via a microscope with a time-lapse recording function taking photographs at specified intervals.
Once the scratch has been made via chemical, mechanical or thermal methods, there will be a gap in the monolayer. The reason for making the scratch is to encourage cell migration, which will close the gap.
Despite the advantages of this test, there are some potential drawbacks that some analysts will criticise. The benefits are simple and include:
- Easy to administer
- Testing conditions can be changed
- Enable real-time monitoring
Unfortunately, the main disadvantage is that the scratch could create inconsistencies such as the size and depth of the scratch and damage the cells near the scratch. Consequently, this could skew the testing results. Additionally, some scientists do not believe that the scratch assay resembles a skin wound closely enough for the test to be practical. However, on a positive note, numerous automatic technologies help make this testing method more accurate.
Applications Of Wound Healing Assays
Wound healing assays are used in several important applications, including cancer research, tissue damage and wound recovery. The section below will outline when wound healing assays are used and how that supports the related research.
Wound Healing: Cell migration occurs during the wound healing and when tissues have been injured. Observing what medicines or compounds impact the migration process after an injury can help researchers develop new treatments.
Drug Screening: This is used to observe how a particular drug impacts migration speed among a specific cell type. It is also used when researching cancer cells, how they interact with certain compounds and how quickly they migrate.
Cell Interactions: How do cells interact with each other during the migration process? Do they migrate as single cells or in groups? In reaction to certain chemicals or mechanical signals, interactions can be investigated, and further research into wound healing can be carried out.
Cell Migration: Does the process of migration change depending on the conditions the cells are subjected to?
2D Invasion Assays: A more advanced method to monitor the interaction between two different cell types. An invasion assay involves using a filter consisting of an extracellular matrix.
On our website, Platypus Tech provides ample information on wound healing assays, including some advantages and uses in the research field. However, should you wish to speak to an expert, please do not hesitate to reach out via the contact page?