Location-independent fast & precise cell counting with the fluidlab R-300 cell counter from anvajo

Cell counting is a routine method that is performed to determine how high the cell concentration is in a sample. In this way, the growth behaviour of the cell line can be observed. This is important if a certain cell count must be reached to perform an experiment or to check the influence of different factors on the growth of the cells.1

Since this process is regularly performed in the daily laboratory routine, it is important to make it as simple and time-saving as possible. However, it must still provide reliable results, as it forms the basis of many experiments.
The fluidlab R-300 offers a fast method of counting cells automatically. Due to the large image area of the microscope, a high degree of statistical certainty is provided.

 

The most important features of the fluidlab R-300 in one glance

The fluidlab R-300 is the first truly portable automated cell counter. While other automated cell counters are often heavy and large and therefore bound to a fixed place in the laboratory, the fluidlab R-300 is much smaller and lighter.

This makes it possible to perform cell counts at different worklocations in a space-saving way - for example directly under the sterile laboratory bench.

It also offers other advantages, such as:

  • the large "field-of-view" (5.3 mm²) and automated determination of the cell count reduce human error and increase statistical certainty
  • the holographic microscope does not need to be calibrated
  • due to automatic focus the focusing level does not have to be selected by the user
  • a viability measurement can be performed without the use of dye 


This facilitates and accelerates the counting of cells in the laboratory.

Manual vs. automated cell counting

In many research institutions and universities, cell cultures are counted manually. Manual cell counting is performed using counting chambers, also called haemocytometers. After the cover glass has been placed on the counting chamber and the sample liquid has been applied, the cells are counted under the microscope.2

Based on the counted cells, it can be calculated how many cells per volume are contained in the sample. From this, a simple calculation can be made to determine the cell concentration in the initial solution.

If the count is performed manually and a distinction is to be made between living and dead cells, the trypan blue staining is additionally used. The dye stains dead cells with permeable cell membrane blue, while living cells remain unstained. In this way, the proportion of living and dead cells, the so-called viability, can also be determined. The manual methods for the determination of cell count and viability are very laborious and time-consuming, and often subject to errors.

Alternatively, there is a wide range of automated cell counters. These do not necessarily work with the same method.  An automated method is the determination of cell counts by microscopy. Here, a software counts and characterizes cells in a microscope image. 

The fluidlab R-300 also makes use of this. A new microscopy technology is used here, which makes use of holograms. The automatic counting is much faster, so that several samples can be counted one after the other, leaving additional time for further work. Furthermore, automated counting devices can determine additional measurement parameters, such as the size distribution of cells in suspension. 

What influences the result of a cell count?

There are various factors that can negatively influence the result. These can be of different nature and can occur even before the actual measurement. The fluidlab R-300 cannot eliminate them completely, but can minimize them.

Some of them can have a negative effect on counting with both, an automatic cell counter and a counting chamber. These include the following:

  • Poor mixing of the sample before measuring leads to falsified results. If the suspension has not been properly resuspended before the measurement, the result of the count is not authentic because it does not reflect the correct distribution of cells in the suspension.
  • The presence of air bubbles, which can be created when filling the counting chamber, also makes cell counting difficult. Manual counting must be interrupted and the bubbles must be removed if they impede counting. 

 

Since manual cell counting offers considerably more potential sources of error, the following factors can additionally influence the result negatively with this method:

  • Lack of attention due to tiredness or overexertion of the eyes, for example, as well as distraction, can lead to deviating results when counting manually.
  • Subjectivity in manual counting can lead to different results. Distinguishing between cells and other particles is not always easy, especially when counting manually under the microscope and can vary from person to person. This can lead to different results with the same sample. In particular, cell fragments (debris) can lead to uncertainties.
  • The incubation time of the trypan blue for manual cell counting must be carefully controlled, as the dye is cytotoxic. If the counting takes too long, more and more cells die, which means that more and more dead cells are counted and the result is falsified. 

 

Handling errors, such as poor mixing of the suspension, cannot be eliminated by the R-300. However, the instrument carries out the count automatically and erroneous results due to lack of concentration are eliminated.

Furthermore, the neural network of R-300 can not only distinguish cells from other particles, but also differentiate dead cells from living cells. This makes staining with trypan blue unnecessary

The acella sample carrier does not have to be assembled, but is immediately ready to use, which speeds up the counting process overall. The standardized chamber height of acella makes individual counts of a sample more comparable and reproducible.

High-resolution microscope with new technology: The advantages of cell counting with the fluidlab R-300

The fluidlab R-300 has a digital holographic microscope that performs cell counting and viability determination using machine learning methods such as neural networks (CNN). 

The fluidlab R-300 is calibrated at the factory and requires no further calibration by the user.

Unlike many other automated cell counters, the R-300 is small and portable. This allows cell counting directly under the bench. In addition, it takes up only a small portion of the work surface. 

The neural network counts cells reliably with a high statistical certainty. It differentiates cells from other particles such as cell debris or cell clumps. 

Both cell counts and viability measurements normally require time-consuming sample preparation. With the R-300, many samples can be measured in rapid succession. By omitting the cytotoxic dye, the sample also remains stable for a longer time. 

Automatic and accurate: How does automatic cell counting work with the fluidlab R-300?

Digital holographic microscopy (DHM), which is used in the R-300, is a new technology that uses machine learning algorithms such as neural networks to evaluate cell count and viability. 

The microscope creates so-called "holograms" of the cells. These contain information that is not captured by brightfield images.

The individual cells are extracted from the background. The neural network analyses the cells cut out of the background by distinguishing between cell forms and measuring the cell's viability.

Viability is determined by the neural network and is based on a signal proportional to the intracellular refractive index. In this case, this parameter is linked to the protein content of the cell. In addition, measurement parameters on the morphology of the cell are included in the evaluation. 

In this way, the measurement of viability is faster, simpler, cheaper and more specific than the standard method.  

This video shows how the adapter is inserted into the R-300, the sample carrier is filled and then pushed in. The acella sample carriers have a filling capacity of 4-20 µL depending on the type. This depends on the selected layer thickness of the measuring chamber. 

Thus quality management in the cell culture laboratory can be simplified. 

To perform cell counting with the R-300, the cells must first be in suspension in a suitable dilution. 

 

The cell count application of the R-300 is particularly suitable for counting the cells after they have been washed. 

After preparing the sample, the sample carrier adapter 01 is inserted into the fluidlab R-300 and the sample carrier acella is filled. 

The Cell Count and Viability applications can be selected by tapping on the main screen. In the input mask the measurement can be named and the cell size and dilution can be defined. 

To learn more about our fluidlab R-300, please contact our sales team at info@anvajo.com.   

To perform a cell count, the fluidlab R-300 and the sample carrier acella with suitable adapter 01 are used. 

The device is already equipped with the appropriate software. It is not necessary to purchase additional licenses.

After the count, the fluidlab R-300 displays the results as "counted objects". These are indicated in the concentration cells/µL. 

However, it is planned for the future that the concentration can also be displayed as cells/mL.

Below this there is a histogram in which the cell size is plotted against the cell number. This makes it easy to determine how many cells of a certain size were found. 

The green borders left and right in the histogram can be moved arbitrarily so that the cell count is only displayed in the limited size range.

The recognized cells are marked with green boxes.

In which departments can a cell count be performed with the fluidlab R-300?

The fluidlab R-300 is CE-certified and must therefore be individually matched to the requirements with regard to further quality criteria that must be fulfilled for use in some specialist areas. 

The fluidlab R-300 is not approved for use in clinical diagnostics and may only be used for research purposes.

In university institutes for biology or medicine the R-300 can be used in

  • Laboratory internships
  • Departments of cell and molecular biology
  • Departments for biotechnology
  • Departments of plant physiology
  • Departments for ecology
  • Departments for microbiology
  • Departments of biochemistry
  • Department of toxicology

 

There it can be used for cell counting of permanent and primary cell lines, algae and yeast cells.

In university institutes of medicine it is used for basic and applied research. There it can also be used for cell counting and viability determination. 

Furthermore the R-300  can be used in biotecnological companies to count various cell cultures.

Small, accurate, cost-efficient: What does the cell counter fluidlab R-300 by anvajo cost?

The fluidlab R-300 combines two devices in one.This resuts in a significant price advantage. It is not only a cell counter, but also a spectrometer.

Cell count and the measurement of viability can be performed without big effort.

Pictures of the sample can be taken du to the holographic microscope.

Furthermore the neural network recognizes and quantifies cells with a high statistical certainity.

Countings can be performed at different  workplaces since the analyzer is a small and portable device.

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Scope of delivery of the fluidlab R-300 cellcounter

To start immediately with the measurements the fluidlab R-300 comes in the anvajo fluidlab R-300 Set, containing

  • the fluidlab R-300
  • one key for the adapter
  • the adapter 01 for the sample carrier, acella
  • the adapter 02 for scattering measurement
  • the adapter 03 for absorption measurement
  • one sensor cleaner
  • one power supply unit
  • one USB charging cable
  • one user manual
  • one Quick-start Guide

 

Innovation for your workplace: Increase the quality of your cell counts

The automatic cell counting reduces potential sources of mistakes during counting to a minimum.

Thanks to the intuitive handling of the device and the automatic counting by the neural network, the determination of the cell concentration is made easier.

Moreover, steps such as staining the cells with trypan blue to determine viability are completely eliminated

If you decide to purchase the fluidlab R-300, discounts or benefits can be granted, if the order is for universities, institutes or companies and a higher quantity has been ordered.

However, this is done according to an individual agreement, as there are no flat-rate discount groups. 

Are you interested in purchasing several devices for your research group, internships or company locations? Contact us for a personal offer at info@anvajo.com

Since the software is always automatically pre-installed on the device, it does not need to be purchased or extended. Similarly, no additional licenses need to be purchased.

Find out more about the fluidlab R-300 on our homepage or contact our sales team.

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1 Schmitz, 2011. Der Experimentator: Zellkultur. 3 Hrsg. Heidelberg: Spektrum Akademischer Verlag.

2 Vgl. Schmitz, 2011