Exploring Neurological Injury and Disease with Live-Cell Analysis

The pathophysiology of neurological disease and injury is certainly extremely complex and temporally dynamic. This presents an intimidating challenge for the development and suitable use of physiologically relevant models for exploratory research. Subtle variations occur frequently, and degenerative progressions can effect cell health and function over extended periods of time.

These kinetic variations are difficult to capture, quantify, and interpret, but they hold useful evidence for an improved understanding of disease pathology, finding therapeutic targets, and the characterization of drug pharmacology. This is complicated further through problems regarding the restrictions of neurological models and their suitability.

This was the topic of an editorial recently; “Neurological disease models made clear” (Nature Medicine, 2015). The editorial asked authors of papers to give further insight  regarding  the models that were utilized  and the reasons they were selected. This highlights the requirement for an improved characterization of neurological models, their performance, and also their restrictions.

Real-time kinetic research can produce quantifiable data and are valuable within the framework of neurological models, connecting subtle alterations in cell health and function, from disease or therapeutic intervention, with phenotypic effects that can be observed. This real-time, quantifiable data can improve understanding of disease etiology, identify treatment targets, and characterize drug mechanisms.

In addition, it is required that cellular integrity is maintained during the course of an experiment. This is beneficial in light of the requirement for greater emphasis on rigor and reproducibility for in vitro models. Using live–cell analysis, the health and function of cell lines can be monitored, allowing the recognition of subtle, cumulative changes that could result in unwelcome phenotypic influences  over time with increased passage.

This communication concentrates on the use of the Incucyte® Live-Cell Analysis System as a useful tool for use in neurological disease model development, disease pathology studies, neuroinflammation, nervous system injury, and discovery of drugs.

This tool functions with the use of real-time, automated imaging and analysis in combination with microplate throughput. It is used to provide kinetic measurements of cellular health, cell number, function, and neurite outgrowth, in addition to others.

As adequately shown with examples from peer-reviewed literature that follows, several researchers have started incorporating live-cell analysis into their investigational workflows already. They have discovered important information and novel, functional insights spanning the extensiveness of neurological conditions. This appropriate work fills a much required gap in the understanding of the dynamic changes underlying neurological disease development and system repair.

The incorporation of real-time kinetic monitoring and measures of cell health into experimental workflow can enhance the development and interpretation of more biologically applicable neurological disease models. This technology will better-prepare investigators to slowly discover the complexities of neurological disease, advance workflow, and help in the detection and analysis of novel therapeutics.

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Last updated: Jul 16, 2020 at 4:41 AM

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