Thin films of Type 1 collagen for cell by cell analysis of morphology and tenascin-C promoter activity.

Research paper by Kurt J KJ Langenbach, John T JT Elliott, Alex A Tona, Dennis D McDaniel, Anne L AL Plant

Indexed on: 08 Mar '06Published on: 08 Mar '06Published in: BMC Biotechnology


The use of highly reproducible and spatiallyhomogeneous thin film matrices permits automated microscopy and quantitative determination of the response of hundreds of cells in a population. Using thin films of extracellular matrix proteins, we have quantified, on a cell-by-cell basis, phenotypic parameters of cells on different extracellular matrices. We have quantitatively examined the relationship between fibroblast morphology and activation of the promoter for the extracellular matrix protein tenascin-C using a tenascin-C promoter-based GFP reporter construct.We find that when considering the average response from the population of cells, cell area correlates with tenascin-C promoter activity as has been previously suggested; however cell-by-cell analysis suggests that cell area and promoter activity are not tightly correlated within individual cells.This study demonstrates how quantitative cell-by-cell analysis, facilitated by the use of thin films of extracellular matrix proteins, can provide insight into the relationship between phenotypic parameters.