A Simplified Method for Quantifying Cell Migration/Wound Healing in 96-Well Plates

Patrick Y K YUE, Emily P.Y. Leung, Nai Ki MAK, Ricky N S WONG

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

135 Citations (Scopus)


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 μm. Using this improved wounding device, the effects of epidermal growth factor and DL-α- 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-433
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Screening
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cell migration assay
  • Mechanical wounder
  • Robotics
  • Wound healing assay


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