Monday, May 20, 2013

Cytation3 Takes to The Road: Day 1

April 15, 2013 marked a special day in BioTek’s history with the "birth" of our Cytation™ 3 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader. We had two goals in mind for Cytation 3:
  1. Streamline workflows
  2. Automate imaging tasks
  3. Provide unique capabilities by reading and imaging the same plate in the same instrument
So many researchers that we spoke to were routinely imaging and reading microplates; it was a logical step to combine the two technologies in one instrument to streamline their workflows. Additionally, for those performing high content screens or simply wanting to increase imaging throughput through the use of microplates we could provide a versatile solution without the extra expense, and often unused features, of automated imaging systems.

Cytation 3
The initial response to Cytation 3 was so strong - researchers wanting to see results for themselves - that we hit the friendly skies for a 4-day, 4-city "Intro to Cytation 3" road show in the U.S.

Nothing like starting the roadshow with a challenge! Cytation3 was up to the task though. We invited participants to bring their samples to a series of seminars and demonstrations. Among the many samples we read and imaged, here are a few unique highlights from Day 1:

The Challenge Plate: We were asked if we could image the biology stained on a microplate that was fixed 5 years ago - keep in mind that 5 years is practically ancient in the world of fluorescent imaging! We learned that several other imaging systems were unsuccessful in finding anything on the plate, but with Cytation3’s automated focusing capabilities, we were able to capture good images within a few minutes.

Spotted Parasite Assay on Custom Slide: A parasite assay was spotted (5x1-cm samples) in a random pattern on a custom slide and covered in oil rather than a typical glass slide. We made some adjustments to the Gen5™ software, and were able to image and analyze the entire slide in 8-10 minutes. Additionally, we were able to resolve the spots, showing the parasite in the cell cytoplasm when infection occurred, at 20x rather than the manual analysis at 40x that they were doing. Not only could this increase their throughput for this parasite assay, but we were able to demonstrate Cytation3’s quick adaptation to this and other assays that the lab may be using.

During our demonstration with the parasite assay, a great question came up: Why a 2-20x magnification range? We really did our homework when setting this range - in addition to market research and talking to our customers, we partnered with imaging experts and leading microscope manufacturers, and everyone agreed that 2-20x is the "sweet spot" for automated wide-field fluorescence microscopy from simple counting to high content screening. This magnification range is a good balance between spatial resolution to the sub-cellular level while maintain good counting statistics.

By: BioTek Instruments

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