We propose a cell-based method, which analyzes the adhesion of living cell and its substratum, as an alternative to animal experiment with regard to pharmacy industry. This is because cell viability has been well adopted to determine whether the environment of the cell is proper for its growth and development, which can be quantified by measuring the cell-to-substratum adhesion. However, conventionally measuring the adhesion is known as a very troublesome and time-consuming task which involves several times of manually washing-and-counting process. Therefore, in the proposed method, for the purpose of analyzing the cell-adhesion more conveniently and quantitatively, we adopted a total internal reflection microscopy (TIRFM) which can illuminate the cell contact within the adhesion region specifically and detect its fluorescence not being interrupted by other fluorescence from the cell body far from the substrate. Thus, we obtained time-series TIRFM images which showed that cell contacts were developing or decaying under various conditions; normal to toxic environment, which can represent various density conditions of drug candidate in screening for determining the most appropriate drug composition. Moreover, the present method can be used for commercializing cell-based microchip in drug screening industry — the money cow.

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