The search for the world’s fastest cell, tracked with microscopes, was inspired by the need to learn more about cell migration. Image: CYTOO
first edition of the World Cell Race is now officially launched.
Organized by a network of researchers in partnership with the American
and the French Cell Biology Societies, this unique competition will
involve cells coming from labs all around the globe.
idea behind this original and unusual race is to gather scientific data
regarding the mechanical properties underlying cell migration. This
exciting scientific event offers the opportunity to test migratory
capabilities of cells possibly modified for the expression of one or
several gene(s). Researchers from all around the world are invited to
choose their fastest cell line and send them to the closest
participating Nikon Imaging Center.
“Wow! This is awesome.” said Wendell Lim at UCSF when first asked to become one of the participating Imaging Centers.
idea came to us during the last ASCB* meeting where it appeared that
the community working on cell migration was larger than ever. I have
always been keen to mix both fun and serious science,” said Manuel
Théry, one of the 3 organizers of the event. “I was amazed and
encouraged by the enthusiasm it immediately raised in the scientific
laboratory may participate in the Cell Race. Genetic modifications are
allowed and even encouraged. The cells will run on the fibronectin
coated tracks that will be fabricated by CYTOO. The final speed that
will be registered will correspond to the most rapid cell covering the
official distance of 100 µm.
will be plated in 12-well glass-bottom micropatterned plates.
Fibronectin tracks are surrounded by cytophobic material. Cells will
have to attach specifically to the fibronectin coated tracks.
accomodate various cell sizes and develop various migration strategies,
two track sizes will be provided: 4 micron wide, and 12 micron wide.
Tracks run throughout the well.
The videos of the race will be shown and prizes will be given out during the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in Denver, Colorado (Dec 3-7, 2011).
More information is available on the official website of the World Cell Race.