Quantum dot-based cell motility assay

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TitleQuantum dot-based cell motility assay
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsPellegrino T, Parak WJ, Boudreau R, Le Gros MA, Gerion D, Alivisatos AP, Larabell CA
Journal TitleDifferentiation
Journal DateDec
ISBN Number0301-4681
Accession NumberISI:000187527500004
Keywordsbasement-membrane matrix, Breast-Cancer Cells, expression, fluorescent colloidal semiconductor quantum dots, in-vitro, invasion, invasion assay, metastatic potential, Migration, motility, Nanocrystals, phagokinetic track, phenotype, receptors, tumor-cells

Motility and migration are measurable characteristics of cells that are classically associated with the invasive potential of cancer cells, but in vitro assays of invasiveness have been less than perfect. We previously developed an assay to monitor cell motility and migration using water-soluble CdSe/ZnS nanocrystals; cells engulf the fluorescent nanocrystals as they crawl across them and leave behind a fluorescent-free trail. We show here that semiconductor nanocrystals can also be used as a sensitive two-dimensional in vitro invasion assay. We used this assay to compare the behavior of seven different adherent human cell lines, including breast epithelial MCF 10A, breast tumor MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-435S, MCF 7, colon tumor SW480, lung tumor NCI H1299, and bone tumor Saos-2, and observed two distinct behaviors of cancer cells that can be used to further categorize these cells. Some cancer cell lines demonstrate fibroblastic behaviors and leave long fluorescent-free trails as they migrate across the dish, whereas other cancer cells leave clear zones of varying sizes around their periphery. This assay uses fluorescence detection, requires no processing, and can be used in live cell studies. These features contribute to the increased sensitivity of this assay and make it a powerful new tool for discriminating between non-invasive and invasive cancer cell lines.

URL<Go to ISI>://000187527500004