Cells were traditionally counted using a hemocytometer till now. Disposable slides became popular with the introduction of automated cell counts. These cell counters used this largely to load and count slides. While they are useful for automated systems, they add an ongoing expense to laboratories, and single-use plastic has a considerable environmental impact.
Every slide is intended to be used just once. Although there are two counts per slide, they are all single-use and are usually discarded after usage. There are people reusing single-use slides; however, slide manufacturers do not encourage this for accuracy reasons. It also considerably increases the amount of hands-on time necessary to count cells.
DeNovix, an instrumentation manufacturing company has given a solution for automated cell counts along with reducing wastage and time. CellDrop, a product of Denovix helps to reduce the usage of disposable slides.
How to use CellDrop without the use of disposable slides?
The US-based company, DeNovix have replaced plastic slides with two permanent, optical standard sapphire surfaces to enhance this technology. A high-precision screw holds the surfaces parallel to generate a chamber similar to that of a typical hemocytometer. The basic technology is based on our DS-11 Series of microvolume spectrophotometers, and users will be instantly at ease with the load, measure, and wipe clean procedure.
Procedure for cell counting using CellDrop
Researchers can load 10µL of cell suspension into the chamber, count them, and the analysis is done automatically. After that, just wipe away the sample with a dry laboratory wipe, and the CellDrop is ready for the next sample. A big, high-definition screen with a live display of the measuring chamber is one of CellDrop’s best features. This allows the user to confirm that the surfaces are clean in real-time.
Adjustable Height Chamber
Traditional counting methods need time-consuming dilution or concentration procedures for samples with high or low cell densities. But, CellDrop’s variable height chamber allows us for the most accurate counts over the largest range of cell densities – 7 x 102 – 2.5 x 107. The height of the chamber may also be changed to suit almost any cell with a diameter ranging from 4 to 400µm.
Fluorophore staining for better visibility
Cells are stained with a dye such as Trypan blue for brightfield viability studies. Trypan blue has limits, thus we prefer fluorescence for laboratories that want more specificity and precision as well as a wider range of applications. The CellDrop may be used with popular fluorophores such as Acridine orange and Propidium iodide (AO/PI). The fluorescent AO stains living cells green and the fluorescent PI stains dead cells red. These AO/PI staining procedures are extensively used in the apoptosis of cancer cells.
Softwares used in CellDrop Automated Cell Counters
DeNovix software is created by and for life scientists. They have strived hard to make the software not only user-friendly but also extremely powerful. Researchers can immediately count and examine findings on board the equipment. The counting programmes and all embedding algorithms are preloaded on CellDrop counters, so no extra tablets, PCs, or cloud-based software are required.
We’ve provided a default protocol in each counting application that works well for the majority of popular cell lines. Customers may quickly tweak parameters for various cell types and save them in procedures for future counts. The results are retained onboard for simple retrieval in the event of a re-analysis or audit.
The technology was designed to function as a cell counter. As with any optically built equipment, there are resolution restrictions imposed by the system’s physics. We can count cells down to 4 microns with accuracy, and there are no restrictions to what you can accomplish with a manual count or a different automatic cell counter.
They have created it to give you the best of both worlds: the speed of automation without the added cost and bother of disposable slides. If you require single-use disposable slides for whatever reason, the CellDrop can accommodate that, but it also allows researchers to employ a reusable system for the majority of their study.
Future Advancements in this Technology
DeNovix has promised to continue to enhance CellDrop’s apps and capability with its free software advancements. They are collaborating closely with their clients and have some amazing ideas that they want to execute.
DeNovix will continue to seek areas where they can innovate to save clients time and money while also reducing pain points in the lab. They are trying to simplify instrumentation and provide capabilities that scientists want but are not cost-effective given existing technology or the requirement to invest in a new consumable stream.