Cell Invasion Assay

In immunobiology, cell invasion is defined as a devastating three-dimensional cell movement. Cell invasion can cause many diseases, such as colorectal cancer and malignant tumors. The quantification of cell migration and invasion is crucial in the study of cancer metastasis. Quantitative studies of cell invasion can be used to study the molecular processes of these diseases to assess the effectiveness of new potential treatments, and to supplement standard anti-proliferative drugs. Despite many thorough researches, the invasion and metastasis of the complex and heterogeneous mechanism is still not fully understood. At the same time, this strategy has been impeded due to a lack of reliable and reproducible analytical methods for invasive detailed analysis and drug screening. With the development in the biological field in recent years, some cell invasion assays have emerged, including transwell invasion assays, gelatin degradation assays, inverted vertical invasion assays, three-dimensional spheroid invasion assays, and spheroid confrontation assays.

Features of tumor cell invasionFigure 1. Features of tumor cell invasion (Alizadeh A M., et al.; 2014)

Cell Invasion Assay at Creative Bioarray

With the increasing attention paid to tumors, the cell invasion experiment has been developed and widely used. At Creative Bioarray, we can provide cell invasion assays using different techniques.

Transwell invasion assay is to simulate the process of some cells invading other tissues in vitro, which is often used to study the invasiveness of some cells. Transwell chambers are regarded as a kind of device with permeability of goblet, whose appearance in the orifice plate can be placed for a small cup. The cup bottom has a membrane with permeability, and the membrane divides the cell into two layers. Creative Bioarray can provide various types of transwell chambers and various types of membranes with pore diameter to meet different needs.

The principle of gelatin degradation assays is to add cells on the gelatin board containing fluorescence and judge the changes of cell morphology and function by observing the changes of fluorescence on gelatin. The experiment is used for detection of invasive pseudopodia. By observing the changes of fluorescence, the existence and activity of invasive pseudopodia can be judged, which plays an important role in the study of malignant tumors, colorectal cancer and other diseases. At Creative Bioarray, we can provide gelatine degradation experiments with high-quality fluorescent gelatin sheets.

Inverted vertical invasion assay is an experiment to observe the migration and invasion capacity of hybrid cells. The hybrid offspring are susceptible to microenvironment and in small numbers, so the damage to the environment needs to be minimized in the experiment. An invasive test without extensive cellular manipulation is required in the hybridization of offspring, while inverted vertical invasion assay has this advantage. Thus, the trial can help study the aggressive ability of cancer cells and related fusion hybrids, and can strengthen the test of treatment strategies to inhibit metastatic spread.

3D spheroid invasion assay is a method of cell invasion research based on homogeneous self-assembling three-dimensional tumor spheroid, which can provide a rapid and automatic invasion system to determine the process of cell invasion. This method is mainly characterized by three-dimensional structures of cells, high reproducibility of the experiment, and high content and high throughput analysis of tumor cell invasion combined with the latest automatic image analysis technology.

Spheroid confrontation assay is a method to monitor the migration of different cell types in 3D models in vitro. The cells are cultured with different dyes or fluorescently labeled cells, and the mature cells were observed with fluorescence microscopy and isolated. By monitoring the distribution of cells of various colors in real time, we can observe the process of cell invasion more intuitively. The experiment was characterized by being able to observe the motion characteristics of multiple cells at the same time.

Our Advantages

  • A variety of cell invasion assays will be tracked in real time and updated constantly. Assays are optimized according to the latest technology and materials, and new experimental methods.
  • Based on different cells or materials, we will evaluate experimental methods and provide the best advice.
  • For cell invasion, we have professional theoretical knowledge and practical operational experience to help solve your problem.

Our company has a team with high professional knowledge and strong practical skills, which can design various experimental schemes to meet your needs and help you to complete the experiment efficiently. And we will give some suggestions according to the requirements of the experiment. If you have any questions or specific requirements, please feel free to contact us.


1. Merbel A F V D; et al. Protocols for Migration and Invasion Studies in Prostate Cancer. Prostate Cancer, 2018.
2. Alizadeh A M; et al. Metastasis review: from bench to bedside. Tumor biology, 2014, 35(9): 8483-8523.

* For scientific research only

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