Thin films of Type 1 collagen for cell by cell analysis of morphology and tenascin-C promoter activity
1 Biotechnology Division/National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA
2 Geo-centers, Inc. Newton, MA 02459, USA
BMC Biotechnology 2006, 6:14 doi:10.1186/1472-6750-6-14Published: 6 March 2006
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.