S. Sridharan, M. Mir and G. Popescu, Simultaneous optical measurements of cell motility and growth, Biomed. Opt. Exp., 2 (10), 2011

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It has recently been shown that spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM) developed in our laboratory can be used to quantify the dry mass growth of single cells with femtogram sensitivity [M. Mir et al., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci.  108, 32 (2011)]. Here we show that it is possible to measure the motility of single cells in conjunction with the dry mass measurements. Specifically the effect of poly-L-lysine substrate on the dry mass growth of  Drosophila S2 cells is studied. By measuring the mean square displacement of single cells and clusters it is shown that cells that adhere better to the surface are unable to grow. Using such a technique it is possible to measure both growth and morphogenesis, two of the cornerstones of developmental biology.