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Perrin L , Tucker T , Gligorijevic B
Time-Resolved Fluorescence Imaging and Analysis of Cancer Cell Invasion in the 3D Spheroid Model
J Vis Exp. 2021 Jan 30
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The invasion of cancer cells from the primary tumor into the adjacent healthy tissues is an early step in metastasis. Invasive cancer cells pose a major clinical challenge because no efficient method exist for their elimination once their dissemination is underway. A better understanding of the mechanisms regulating cancer cell invasion may lead to the development of novel potent therapies. Due to their physiological resemblance to tumors, spheroids embedded in collagen I have been extensively utilized by researchers to study the mechanisms governing cancer cell invasion into the extracellular matrix (ECM). However, this assay is limited by (1) a lack of control over the embedding of spheroids into the ECM; (2) high cost of collagen I and glass bottom dishes, (3) unreliable immunofluorescent labeling, due to the inefficient penetration of antibodies and fluorescent dyes and (4) time-consuming image processing and quantification of the data. To address these challenges, we optimized the three-dimensional (3D) spheroid protocol to image fluorescently labeled cancer cells embedded in collagen I, either using time-lapse videos or longitudinal imaging, and analyze cancer cell invasion. First, we describe the fabrication of a spheroid imaging device (SID) to embed spheroids reliably and in a minimal collagen I volume, reducing the assay cost. Next, we delineate the steps for robust fluorescence labeling of live and fixed spheroids. Finally, we offer an easy-to-use Fiji macro for image processing and data quantification. Altogether, this simple methodology provides a reliable and affordable platform to monitor cancer cell invasion in collagen I. Furthermore, this protocol can be easily modified to fit the users' needs.
1940-087x Perrin, Louisiane Tucker, Theodore Gligorijevic, Bojana Journal Article Video-Audio Media United States J Vis Exp. 2021 Jan 30;(167). doi: 10.3791/61902.