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Published on Nov 23, 2011
When neutrophils are moving through tissues towards sites of infection, they are likely to encounter various structures e.g. other cells, collagen fibers, etc, which will force them to deviate from a straight line. Neutrophils ability to reach their final destination is critical for protecting us against infections and other injuries. To learn more about human neutrophils and how they perform in face of such challenges, we forced them to move along small channels to a source of common chemoattractant at the top of the channel. One could easily see in our movie that neutrophils can navigate without trouble around posts in the middle of the channels. Notice that neutrophils extend on both sides of the posts, in a short tug of war, before the symmetry is broken and neutrophils continue their migration. Also notice that most of the neutrophils resolve the challenge without any delay of their migration. Channels have a cross section of 3 × 6 µm and are 160 µm long, time-lapse imaging, one frame every 10 seconds. For more information, read our published results at http://goo.gl/ryoC7 (Integrative Biology, November 2010).