Scratch Assay Starter Kit for Wound Healing and Cell Migration Assays

BioTek’s Scratch Assay Starter Kit includes everything a researcher needs to implement automated, kinetic cell migration and scratch wound assays when used in conjunction with a BioTek Lionheart™ Automated Microscope or Cytation™ Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader.


I’m Joe Clayton. I’m an application scientist at BioTek. Scratch wound healing assays are a well-established in vitro method used to study collective cell migration.

The scratch assay consists of removing a region of cells from a monolayer and then monitoring the movement of neighboring cells into the cleared area.

Scratch wound creation is conventionally done by manually dragging a pipette tip through a cell monolayer.

It’s time consuming and leads to highly inconsistent wounds that are difficult to analyze.

As a better alternative, BioTek has created the Scratch Assay Starter Kit. It automatically creates reproducible, uniform scratch wounds and enables robust cell migration analysis. The kit includes the Autoscratch Wound Making Tool, the Scratch Assay App, sample microplates and cleaning reagents.

With the push of a button the Autoscratch creates consistent wounds in 24 and 96 well plates.

The compact system features an automated cleaning routine to keep the scratch pins free of buildup and avoid contamination.

A quick visual inspection reveals wound width and placement within each well is highly consistent across the entire plate.

Additionally the 96 well format, which is too small to manually scratch, enables high throughput applications.

After wounds are formed it’s critical to remove cellular debris generated during this process to prevent it from settling back down in to the wound area. This can be done with a series of manual wash steps. However for the fastest, most effective results, we developed an automated protocol using the MultiFlo FX.

After washing the scratches the plate is moved to either the Lionheart FX or Cytation for imaging. The Scratch Assay App offers a simple, click-through workflow.

The step-by-step assay setup is intuitive and quick. Select a pre-defined protocol or customize settings for your assay.

Once the assay is started, images are automatically acquired using optimized exposure settings and focus.

Powerful image analysis tools are used to generate reproducible quantitative results with kinetic cell migration profiles reported in real time. Additionally, at the end of the assay, migration rates are calculated and reported for each well.

Results including kinetic profiles, time lapse movies and raw data are easily exported with the click of a button.

The Scratch Assay Starter Kit provides a simple, straightforward way to automatically create uniform, reproducible wounds in 96- and 24-well microplates. The scratch assay app automates capture and analysis of kinetic images and generates detailed quantitative profiles of cell migration. The result is better data and higher throughput.