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Cell Migration & Invasion Assays

Including full-kinetics read-out, label-free online monitoring – and superb reproducibility of data.

A standard endpoint assay demands fiddly manual labor to set up. It often results in poor reproducibility and delivers only a very limited number of data points.

How about a cell assay system that enables real-time monitoring, delivers complete kinetic information whilst reducing manual handling to a minimum?

Reproducibility is key. Minimize manual interaction. 

 A simple assay setup, automated runs under physiological conditions in the incubator, and the prevention of dyes assure the highest accuracy of your experiment results.

Are you satisfied with a few data points to understand a time-dependent process? 

A response curve in cell motility studies provides comprehensive insights how your experiment develops over time. Study the effect of chemoattractants on your cells right away by their reaction dynamics, plotted in real-time on the monitor – and never miss any event again. 

Meanwhile cited in more than 1200 peer-reviewed scientific publications.

The underlying technology, impedance-based real-time assays using xCELLigence instrumentation (ACEA Biosciences, San Diego, CA), gains remarkable momentum in cell analysis and drug discovery workflows – well documented in 1200 research papers.

Physiological relevant, Impedance-based Label-free Assays

As cells move from the upper chamber towards chemoattractant in the lower chamber, they pass through a membrane containing 8 μm pores and then adhere to gold impedance microelectrodes. The resultant change in impedance signal perfectly correlates with the number of cells attached to these electrodes, enabling facile collection of highly reproducible data over time ranges spanning from minutes to days. 


  • Label-free assays at physiological conditions
  • Dynamic real-time monitoring: complete cell migration information
  • Non-invasive: suitable for long-term experiments
  • Minimal & easy manual handling, no laborious evaluation
  • Excellent reproducibility





xCELLigence Focus Application Note 4

xCELLigence Focus Application Note 4: Migration of HUVEC cells induced by various HGF (hepatocyte growth factor) concentrations.

Featured Study: Inhibition of Cell Migration by Gene Silencing





What Users are Saying

Prof. Dr. H. Ungefroren, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Germany:

„In our area of interest, tumor cell biology, we are studying oncogenic and metastatic signaling pathways in pancreatic carcinoma cells. Cell migration assays using the DP system have proven indispensable for our work, as it allows us to generate valuable, easily quantifiable kinetic data, combined with a simple and time-saving setup procedure.” Visit Professor Ungefroren's Lab bit.ly/DP-Lab



Kerry Manton, Ph.D., Queensland University of Technology. Cited from Br J Dermatol. 2013;168(3):496-503.

Primary human cells are notoriously variable in their responses. The peak rate of cell migration of primary keratinocytes from different patients varies from 12-22 hours.  The use of single time-point Transwell assays is unreliable, costly and time-consuming. xCELLigence CIM technology removed the variability from our experiments and provided fast, high-quality results for less time and consumable cost.”  


Dr. Jemma Evans, MIMR- PHI Institute. Cited from Evans Travel Award application 2014.

Short term (<24 hours), placental trophoblast invasion is not significantly affected; however, just 6-16 hours later, invasion is significantly inhibited. Using conventional methods, this elegant demonstration of the role and specific timing of hCG-H action in placental development (demonstrated here using the RTCA DP), is difficult, laborious and subject to extensive technical errors.” 



Melissa L. Fishel, Indiana University. Cited from the xCELLigence Webinar: Identifying Novel Combination Therapeutic Targets for Pancreatic Cancer (5/21/2013)

One of the great thing about the system is that we can monitor the cell in real time, we don’t have to pick a 48 time point, maybe the important effect happened at 72 hour, and I would have never picked that time point.” 



Watch a Hands-On Video. 5 Minutes to learn the whole workflow.



Download a List of Publications citing the xCELLigence RTCA Migration & Invasion Assays

→ Download here



Watch a Recent Webinar
Metastasis - Targeting Reattachment of Breast Tumor Stem Cells










Stuart S. Martin, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Physiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine

In this webinar, Dr. Martin will cover how he utilized multidiscipline tools/techniques to discover microtentacles (McTNs) as novel cellular structures that promote the metastatic reattachment of circulating tumor cells in distant tissues; and as a novel target for therapeutic intervention.


It’s your turn. Optimize your Cell Migration / Cell Invasion Assays now.

Get in touch with our experts and learn more how xCELLigence promotes your cell-based research




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