Wiley Current Protocols

Live-Cell Imaging and Analysis for Neuroscience

The brain is a complex organ, comprising numerous cell types that interact with each other in a myriad of ways.  The ability to study these interactions in a reductionist manner is key to understanding their role in physiology and pathology.  The use of live-cell imaging to examine neurite outgrowth and morphology enables elucidation of the cellular mechanisms underlying these processes.  Additionally, characterizing morphological and functional aspects of glia cell types, such as cell motility, can lead to insights into their contributing biological roles.

In this article collection, we highlight three recent case studies exemplifying the power of live-cell imaging for neuroscience and the development of therapeutics, as well as a white paper and an application note from Sartorius.

What You Will Learn

  • Live-cell imaging of cultured neurons and glia.
  • Automated measurements of cell morphology and neurite outgrowth.
  • Utility of time lapse imaging for assessing cellular function.

Articles Contained in this Collection:

Wang, Y., Zhou, J., Tang, C., et al. Positive effect of Astragaloside IV on neurite outgrowth via talin-dependent integrin signaling and microfilament force. J Cell Physiol. 2021; 236: 2156– 2168.

Wadhwani, A.R., Affaneh, A., Van Gulden, S. and Kessler, J.A. (2019), Neuronal apolipoprotein E4 increases cell death and phosphorylated tau release in Alzheimer’s disease. Ann Neurol, 85: 726-739.

Trigg, J., et al. (2023) Quantification of neurite dynamics in mono-cultures and co-cultures using the Incucyte® Live-Cell Analysis System. Sartorius

Levi, H., Bar, E., Cohen-Adiv, S., Sweitat, S., Kanner, S., Galron, R., Mitiagin, Y., & Barzilai, A. (2022). Dysfunction of cerebellar microglia in Ataxia-telangiectasia. Glia, 70(3), 536– 557.

Alcantara, S. L., et al. (2021) Characterizing astroglia models with live-cell analysis. Sartorius


We hope the readers of this collection will gain a deeper understanding of how live-cell imaging of neuronal cell cultures can reveal cellular mechanisms and lead to potential therapeutic interventions.

This article collection is supported by Sartorius.


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