Three dimensional gels of native type I collagen fibres have been used as a substratum for the growth and migration of Chinese hamster ovary cells (fibroblastoid cell line) and RPMI-3460 melanoma cells (tumorigenic cell line from Syrian hamster). Quantitative data concerning the migration of these cells from the gel surface into the 3-dimensional collagen gel matrix have been obtained. The migration of both cell types into the collagen gel matrix is not accompanied by the degradation of collagen fibres. The possible implications of these observations for tumour cell invasion in vivo are discussed.

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