Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Comparison of Applications Coverage: BioSpa vs. IncuCyte

Cellular Imaging is an indispensable tool for cell biologists. While the inherent magnification allows researchers to visualize cells, its true utility comes post image capture deploying image analysis that allows for the quantification of cellular processes. The researcher is faced with many choices of which quantitative imager to choose from, but it essentially comes down to which product is easiest to use, provides the best performance and covers more of the applications of concern, thus broadening the imager’s utility.

Essen’s IncuCyte® is a useful imager for live cell imaging and provides adequate performance for a number of applications. As an example, the IncuCyte® can perform cell proliferation, cytotoxicity, apoptosis and scratch assays, all characterized by slow kinetics requiring only hourly imaging to capture the processes occurring. Yet it is unable to capture fast kinetic processes, such as calcium flux within cells or track second messenger induction from GPCR activation, where the biology is over in seconds. Nor is IncuCyte® suitable for high resolution phenotypic assays such as autophagy applications that require counting autophagosomes per cell as magnification is relatively limited. While IncuCyte® can monitor spheroid proliferation, image analysis can be compromised by an inability to capture sharp images of the thick biology using z-stacking techniques. Finally, the IncuCyte® is unsuitable for fixed cell assays, such as immunofluorescence, fluorescence in-situ hybridization or histology.

Each of these limitations and all of IncuCytes’s capabilities are covered by the BioSpa™ Live Cell Imaging System. The following table illustrates the diverging applications coverage between BioSpa Live Cell Imaging System and IncuCyte®.

 BioSpa Live Cell 
 Imaging System
  Slow kinetic assays   Slow kinetic assays
    Cell proliferation     Cell proliferation
    Cytotoxicity     Cytotoxicity
    Apoptosis     Apoptosis
    Scratch assay     Scratch assay
  Immunofluorescence   Immunofluorescence
    Any cellular protein     Only cell surface protein
  3D cell culture assays   3D cell culture assays
    Z-stacking/Z-projection     No Z-stacking/Z-projection
  Whole organisms
    C. Elegans
  High resolution phenotypic assays
   Mitochrondrial membrane potential

By: BioTek Instruments, Peter Banks Ph.D., Scientific Director

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