The ability of cancer cells to migrate is essential for cancer invasion and metastasis, and, as such, is responsible for the majority of the lethality of this devastating disease. In order to migrate, cancer cells have a particular cellular machinery defined by their nature and environment, resulting in a particular biomechanical configuration that enables them to effectively invade surrounding tissues. As such, an accurate understanding of cancer cell migration requires an analysis of the variety of migratory phenotypes, including the study of the biomechanical features that allow cell migration and invasion.
This project will perform a multi-parametric analysis of cells migrating in 2D substrates. For this, microscopy derived data is obtained from experiments conducted at the Live Cell Imaging facility of the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition of the Karolinska Institutet. Cells will be imaged at mid or high resolution by means of confocal or wide-field fluorescence microscopy. Morphological and behavioral features will be extracted and statistical models will be applied to calculate differences in behaviour and variability between different cell lines, conditions, or experiments in single living cells in 4 dimensions: 3D-space and time. Generated data will contribute to decipher the molecular mechanisms of cancer cell migration, and provide new perspectives on how data should be analyzed in the cell migration field.
The project will be conducted at the Clinical molecular biology research group at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition of the Karolinska Institutet, led by Prof. Staffan Strömblad.