Antibody-directed and drug therapies have been on the forefront of immuno-oncology research in the past 15 years. Since the FDA introduced the Breakthrough Therapy Designation in 2016 for novel promising drug therapies, the number of applicants and approved candidates has increased dramatically.
As more and more researchers are looking at drug effects in cancer cells and moving forward in drug discovery, they face many challenges in their day to do work. Performing cell cytotoxicity assays for multiple cell lines with single and combination drug therapies is standard practice in immuno-oncology. While many researches use end-point assays such as MTT, XTT, WST, or CellTiter-Glo, others prefer the manual counting using Trypan Blue. While these methods may be popular, it does not mean they are without their limitations. By directly imaging and counting every cell in a well over a course of a drug treatment, the Celigo can perform the cytotoxicity assays in a label-free format.
We recently presented an informational webinar on this very topic. If you’re intrigued to learn what advantages and disadvantages we identified for these methods, we encourage you to watch the webinar. You can access it here.
Once you’ve had a chance to watch it, we’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and any questions you may have.
Nexcelom has been using a slogan for the past few years – Better tools for better biology for better life. We manufacture better tools (Cellometer & Celigo) that help researchers perform better biology (cell counts, viability, drug discovery, cell-based assays, etc…) which leads to advances in science and better life for everyone involved! When we were coming up with the slogan, we were going to finish the third part to read “for better science” – but one of our customer groups are breweries (yeast are cells, too!) – and we didn’t want to exclude such an important group.
One of our newest brewery customers is Cape May Brewing Company, in Cape May, NJ. Like many of our customers, they didn’t just decide to purchase the instrument. Instead, they first took us up on our Free, In-Lab Evaluation program. (It’s typically for a week, but we often extend it as requested by customers.) It’s a simple process: we ship the instrument, software and some starter materials, we get the users trained and confident in using the instrument, and the end user plays with it for a week – to really see how it performs on a day-in, day-out routine.
After evaluating our Cellometer X2, Cape May loved it so much, they decided to purchase. And they are so excited about their Cellometer, they wrote an awesome post about it on their blog. Check that out here! (We loved their blog post so much, we’re talking about their blog post in our blog post!) They sum up the purpose of the instrument in a really great way – “In the simplest terms and the most convenient definition: it’s a piece of machinery that counts cells” They have even begun to think of what to name it. “[W]e’re thinking of calling CeeLo”
If you’re interested in learning more about our Free Evaluation Program – check out our webpage for the simple forms we’ll need from you, and then our Support team will be in touch to confirm the details with you. And Cape May – we think CeeLo is a great name for your X2!
Lawrence, Massachusetts – September, 2016 – Nexcelom Bioscience, a leading provider of cell counting and analysis products for biomedical research and the biopharma industry, announced it has released the addition of a 5th channel available as an option on the Celigo image cytometer. The Celigo is a bench-top image cytometry system providing whole-well imaging and quantitative data, through image analysis for demanding cell-based analytical applications. Previous configurations allowed bright field only imaging, or bright field imaging plus 3 fluorescent channels. This new option of bright field plus 4 fluorescent (red, green, blue and far-red) channels will allow researchers more capabilities without having to compromise their assays.
This addition to the product offering was driven by the requests of researchers and current customers. Researchers now use the Celigo image cytometer to develop cell-based assays with cells expressing GFP and RFP in combination with blue and far-red dyes. The other configuration options will still be available for order – allowing researchers to customize the Celigo to best meet their needs.
“The addition of a 5th fluorescent channel on the Celigo responds to the increasingly wider array of fluorescent reagents for cell-based assays available to researchers today and provides our customers with additional multiplexing capabilities for the acquisition and analysis of more complex cell populations.” said Olivier Déry, Director of Celigo Business at Nexcelom Bioscience.
The Celigo allows users to perform high-speed, fully automated imaging and quantification of a wide range of cell types across complex sample types. It enables an extensive menu of applications, and with the option to have it configured with bright field and four fluorescent channels will open up greater possibilities for its use and applications within fields such as immuno-oncology, drug discovery and many others. For more information about the Celigo image cytometer, contact email@example.com or visit www.nexcelom.com/celigo
Our founder, Dr. Jean Qiu, developed the Cellometer Auto T4 in 2005 after receiving a request for such an instrument from a customer at NIH, and we officially launched it at AACR 2006. As we come up on the 10 year anniversary of the original launch of our first automated cell counter it got us thinking. When we created the first automated cell counter, we created the market for such devices and we were alone in the equipment space for 2-3 years before any other company came out with competitive products. (Imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?) It was common to hear early on from potential customers, “Why do I need an automated counter? I’ve graduate students to count our cells.” It’s probably one of objections we still hear fairly frequently. Coupled with that, it always amazes us when we come across potential customers who had no idea there was even any other option aside from manually counting cells with a hemacytomer.
We started gathering feedback from our Cellometer users in 2012 and we love hearing from them. If you’re wondering if an automated cell counter is right for you, we suggest you check out why our current customers use and love the Cellometer instruments.
One of our first comments on file came from the University of Chicago in 2012:
“The Cellometer has decreased the time spent counting cells significantly. We can isolate cells from 30+ mice and instead of spending over an hour counting cells, we can have it done in duplicate in half the time. This means our experiments can be done how we want them to be done instead of worrying about splitting them into two days because of the time cells would end up just sitting on ice waiting to be plated. For a bigger lab this wouldn’t be an issue, but for a smaller lab of 3 people, the extra time saved makes the experiments run much smoother.”
In 2013 we received feedback from a user at the Washington University in St. Louis:
“My colleagues really love the easy use of the Nexcelom Cellometer. It has been a lifesaver from the hemacytometer. We are actually thinking about purchasing a new machine for backup. We are very happy with this instrument.”
Feedback really accumulated starting in 2014 when we were receiving comments twice a week. While we never aimed to make “sexy” instruments- instead preferring they were sturdy and robust, it was flattering to receive the following note from North Carolina State University users:
“Using the Cellometer Auto 2000 has been an exhilarating experience. From the ease of use to accurate results, there is not a bad thing to be said about this fine piece of equipment. The focus buttons are extremely responsive and have a great tactile feel. Plus, the Cellometer Auto 2000’s sleek silver exterior is easy on the eyes.”
The Translational Genomics Research Institute shared:
“The Cellometer has sped up our lab’s cell culture workflow greatly as it counts much more rapidly than other counting machines we have tried. We also like the intuitive software and ability to create custom profiles that we can save for each cell line.”
Hanger 24 reported:
“The Nexelcom Cellometer X2 has made our daily cell counts and cellar reports much faster and easier. The software interface and sample prep is easy to perform and give consistent, reliable data.”
Multiple researchers at Florida State University College of Medicine shared:
“Using the Cellometer Vision CBA has saved me so much time! I am able to get consistent viability data with much less time spent on sample preparation. It has also been great to complete cell cycle analyses without using FACS.”
“The Cellometer Vision is a great product! The instrument is quick and easy to learn to use, and the software is very user friendly. We have used the our Cellometer to obtain data that we would normally have to use the flow cytometry facilities to get. The machine has made of number of data types both inexpensive and quick to obtain. In addition to the product itself, the customer service we have received is excellent – only adding to the quality of the product!”
University of Virginia sent in the following praise:
“Great product! Saves me an hour of eye-straining counting. I count my cells before labeling with antibodies for flow cytometry. Now I can easily double the number of samples I can analyze in one day.”
One of our customers is a regenerative medicine company and we’ve heard back from multiple users there:
“The Cellometer has been a great asset to multiple departments in our company. When looking to move from flow cytometry cell counting methods to microscopy cell counting, we tested many options and settled on the Cellometer from Nexcelom. We now use these instruments at two sites and within our manufacturing and QC departments. We are still in our validation phases with the instruments but they will eventually become our primary method for manufacturing and QC. I enjoy using this instrument because their is no setup or shutdown procedures that are needed. You can simply turn it on, use it, and shut it off. So easy!”
“The Cellometer K2 instrument is a simple, quick, visual cell counting platform. We love the clear images and easily discerned confirmation of that the cell count data is real because you can see the count for your own two eyes. It has allowed us to move away from difficult flow cytometer and subjective hemocytometer methods.”
“Transitioning to the Nexcelom Cellometer from our previous method using Flow Cytometry, has been smooth and efficient with the help of the great team at Nexcelom support. The software is very user friendly and the instrument is maintenance free. I would highly recommend the Nexcelom Cellometer K2 to other facilities looking to use image-based cell counting systems.”
The love from our customers kept increasing in 2015 and now, in 2016, we’re receiving comments and feedback on a nearly daily basis. It’s a great feeling to know the products we delivered over 10 years ago are still in the field. It’s an even better feeling knowing that those same instruments are not tucked away in a closet, but are still being used and aiding researchers.
If you’re considering an automated cell counter system – you’ve many options to choose from these days. You can reach out to us and we’ll tell you why we think a Cellometer is a great option for you – or you can ask to speak with some of our current customers, and they can share their experiences with Cellometer and with Nexcelom. They are our best advocates and we certainly love our customers.
Novel Fluorescent Viability and Vitality Detection Method for Ale and Lager Yeast Fermentation using Cellometer Vision
It’s White Paper Wednesday! Read our featured white paper: Novel Fluorescent Viability and Vitality Detection Method for Ale and Lager Yeast Fermentation using Cellometer Vision
Automated cell counting methods can monitor yeast concentration and viability throughout fermentation to ascertain cell health and the amount of yeast to be pitched or repitched, all of which contributes to the quality and flavor consistency of the final product [1,2,3]. Analyzing physiological and metabolic characteristics of the yeast cells permits operators to efficiently monitor yeast viability and vitality for quality control purposes, which impacts long-term storage and other physiological stresses.
The University of Kentucky investigated progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1), an often upregulated component in thyroid, breast, colon and lung tumors. PGRMC1 has been associated with drug resistance and is thought of as an indicator of prognosis. The researchers employed a variety of cell types to represent head and neck cancers, as well as oral, lung and ovarian cancers. These cells were exposed to PGRMC1 inhibitors. The Cellometer performed cell counts with Trypan Blue. The PGRMC1 inhibitors successfully prompted cancer stem cell death even when other anti-cancer agents did not. The researchers suggest using PGRMC1 as a cancer stem cell marker as well as a therapeutic target.
The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (Germany) investigated the evolutionarily-conserved proteins REIL 1 and 2 in A. thaliana and yeast cells. Research suggests these proteins are involved in the eukaryotic ribosomal 60S subunit. Here, investigators studied mutated REIL proteins in different species. The Cellometer Auto M10 analyzed cell size and concentration. The group discovered that these proteins are necessary to allow A. thaliana to grow in lower temperatures.
It’s White Paper Wednesday! Read our featured white paper: A Novel NK Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity Detection Method Using the Cellometer Vision
As part of the innate immune system, natural killer (NK) cells are the primary form of defense against tumor cells and assorted pathogens . A minor subset of NK cells (CD56brightCD16-) influence immune regulation via the secretion of cytokines interferon-γ and TNF-α . The major subset of NK cells (CD56dimCD16+), however, directly lyse their targets . Consequently, understanding the cytolytic functions of NK cells are key to understanding NK cell biology and function in adoptive immunotherapy.
Cellometer Auto T4 investigates dysfunction to pro-inflammatory cytokine toxicity and reactive oxygen species
The Institute of Clinical Biochemistry (Hanover, Germany) hypothesized that the pro-inflammatory cytokine environment seen in obese patients and those with obesity-related diabetes promotes the dysregulation of brown adipose tissues (BAT), which in turn intensifies diabetes progression. With a murine non-differentiated brown adipocyte cell line, researchers examined how exposure to pro-inflammatory cytokines impacted these cells. Cell density calculations were performed on the Cellometer Auto T4. The pro-inflammatory cytokines negatively impacted the cells’ viability, markedly increased reactive oxygen species production, and down regulated markers specific to BAT such as UCP-1 and β-Klotho. The scientists concluded that pro-inflammatory cytokines lead to BAT death and dysfunction, as well as an increase in oxidative stress.
A collaboration between Merrimack College (North Andover, MA) and Nexcelom Bioscience LLC used a Cellometer Vision in an undergraduate immunology classroom to explore differentiation, activation, cell surface marker expression and cytokine production in mouse bone marrow stem cells. The Cellometer Vision allowed the students to visualize and analyze their cells for various surface markers before designing experiments to explore the activity of natural anti-inflammatory compounds on TNF-alpha production.
More than 50% of Nexcelom employees hold advanced degrees – so it’s no surprise that we love collaborations with other scientists and institutions. Many of our academic customers have taken advantage of our Teaching Lab program – as a way to introduce their students to alternate methods for performing cell counts and cell-based assays. If you think the Teaching Lab might benefit your lab, reach out to us – we’d love to hear from you!