Quantifying Modes of 3D Cell Migration

We describe the diversity of 3D cell migration modes and discuss the visualization and image analysis technologies needed to study the regulation of these modes at the subcellular scale

Meghan K. Driscoll

2015

Scholarcy highlights

  • In vivo cells move in a wide variety of 3D environments, from hard bone to the gaps between muscle fibers and the regions adjacent to wounds
  • Otherwise similar cells can move in different environments using completely different migration modes
  • We describe the diversity of 3D cell migration modes and discuss the visualization and image analysis technologies needed to study the regulation of these modes at the subcellular scale
  • Technological advances in microscopy are beginning to allow us to image cells migrating in diverse 3D environments at the subcellular scale
  • Unlike for 2D migration where there is essentially one environment – flat, hard surfaces of infinite extension – in 3D systems there are many different environments ranging from relatively simple to highly complex. This diversity of environments coupled with the many ways in which cells interact with their environment may be the origin of the multitude of new cell migration modes described over the past few years
  • While a 2D movie is interpretable by eye, 3D movies are far more difficult to grasp
  • Along with this need for multi-modal data representation comes the search for new means of communicating 3D cell biology that fully convey the complexity of a data set

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