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Cytoo to Complement Chip Offering with Plates for Studying Cell Migration

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This story was originally posted on Oct. 18

Cytoo, a French life sciences tools provider, will soon launch a microplate version of its CytooChips Motility chip for studying cell migration, according to a company spokeperson.

Chloé Loiraud told BioArray News this week that the Grenoble-based firm intends to launch the plates at the American Society for Cell Biology meeting, which will be held in San Francisco in December.

Cytoo launched its CytooChips Motility product last year. Using the 2-cm-by-2-cm chips, users can track cell migration on one-dimensional adhesive lines and in two-dimensional areas on the same surface. Each chip contains 192 lines. According to the company, the line topology on the chips can be used for a number of applications, including controlled cell division studies and bidirectional neurite outgrowth.

While a host of cell microarray platforms for high-content screening are available, Cytoo's Motility products are apparently unique. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Arrayit offers a Cell Motility Pathways DNA array to study factors associated with cell motility, but Loiraud said she was not aware of any similar competitive offerings.

Upon its launch, the Motility product joined Cytoo's existing menu of CytooChips, which are used to control the adhesion of cells in predetermined patterns, including disc, crossbow, H, Y, and L shapes, in small, medium, and large sizes, to reduce variability in cell-based assays.

Each of these other CytooChips consists of a 170-micrometer glass substrate covered with an organized grid of 144 micropattern arrays that provide 20,000 micropatterns. For high-throughput screening, the firm sells 96-well CytooPlates, each of which in total holds an array of more than 6,000 identical micropatterns. The company's chips and plates are imaged using its CytooChambers, which fit into standard microscope instruments.

In comparison, the new CytooPlate Motility product will offer users access to a hundred lines printed in each microplate well, Loiraud noted that on each line, multiple cells can migrate. "These plates are designed for high-content cell screening in the 96-well-plate format allowing to test in parallel as many compounds or conditions," Loiraud said. "Changes in morphology, protein trafficking , localization, and intensity can be monitored as in standard HCS workflows," she added.

In terms of demand, Loiraud said that Cytoo's Motility products attracted interest following last year's World Cell Race, an event the company sponsors where laboratories send their "faster, more persistant" cells to six Nikon centers around the world where their rate of migration is tracked using the company's tools. The race, now in its second year, is organized by Massachusetts General Hospital and the Institute Curie in Paris.

In explaining the purpose of the race, event organizers have noted that the measurement of cell motility "could help establish normal reference values for healthy cells, measure changes during disease, or compare the effect of various drugs and compounds," ultimately leading to "more predictive in vitro systems for cellular functions relevant to health and disease."

Loiraud said that after Cytoo showcased its Motility platform in the first World Cell Race, "sales for the product really picked up, to study cell migration in particular." She added that since their launch, Motility CytooChips have also been used in a "much larger arena of applications" and, in particular, in the neurosciences to study long neurite outgrowth.

New Paper

One study that relied on the Motility chips is featured in the July-September debut issue of the journal IntraVital.

In the paper, researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the University of Chicago, and Stanford School of Medicine demonstrated the use of CytooChips Motility to reconstitute an in vitro model of fibrillar tumor extracellular matrix, the tissue that supports the integrity of the tumor.

According to the authors, the micropatterned 1D adhesive tracks on the chips were used to mimic the linear ECM fibers of the tumor microenvironment. Similar morphologies, behaviors, and motility rates were observed in vivo and on micropatterned lines, they wrote. In particular, the authors found that tumor cell velocity on 1D substrates was in agreement with the high velocity values of tumor cells on ECM fibers observed in vivo.

In comparison, they observed that on classical 2D substrates used in cell analysis, motility rates were tenfold lower than what can be observed in vivo. On Cytoo's micropatterned lines, the authors could also reproduce the assembly of alternating tumor cells and macrophages identified as streams in vivo.

They concluded that the CytooChip-based 1D micropatterned substrate model "more closely approximates the fibrillar nature of the in vivo tumor microenvironment and offers a simple and more appropriate substrate for detailed analyses of cell protrusion, cell-cell pairing and migration than conventional 2D substrates."

Loiraud said that the researchers' results are "really exciting" for Cytoo, as it is the first time that "such a tight correlation between observations in vivo and in vitro using our 1D line micropatterns for the study of tumor cell pairing and streaming" has been shown.

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