Nexcelom Bioscience

Is Automated Counting Right for You?

Sara Barker | March 10, 2016 | No Comments | General Discussions

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

Leo Chan | March 9, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer Application News

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.



Download our white paper »

Cellometer assists in identification of PGRMC as a cancer stem cell marker and therapeutic target

Sara Barker | March 8, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer User Publications

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.

Read the full publication here.

Cellometer M10 studies evolutionarily-conserved proteins across species

Sara Barker | March 3, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer User Publications

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.

Read the full publication here. 

A Novel NK Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity Detection Method Using the Cellometer Vision

Leo Chan | March 2, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer Application News

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 [1]. A minor subset of NK cells (CD56brightCD16-) influence immune regulation via the secretion of cytokines interferon-γ and TNF-α [2]. The major subset of NK cells (CD56dimCD16+), however, directly lyse their targets [3]. Consequently, understanding the cytolytic functions of NK cells are key to understanding NK cell biology and function in adoptive immunotherapy.



NK cells
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Cellometer Auto T4 investigates dysfunction to pro-inflammatory cytokine toxicity and reactive oxygen species

Sara Barker | March 1, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer User Publications

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.

Read the full publication here. 

Cellometer Vision helps undergraduates explore immunophenotyping in mouse bone marrow stem cells

Sara Barker | February 25, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer User Publications

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.

Read the full publication here. 

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!

Trypan Blue and Fluorescence-Based Viability Detection Methods Via Morphological Observation

Leo Chan | February 24, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer Application News

It’s White Paper Wednesday! Read our featured white paper: Comparison of Trypan Blue and Fluorescence-Based Viability Detection Methods Via
Morphological Observation


These studies reveal that over a time course analysis in standard cell culture, TB exclusion reports more viability in comparison to the fluorescence-based tools, although the studies did not speculate as to the reasoning behind the differences noted (Jones and Senft 1985; Mascotti et al. 2000). In this work, we perform a head-to-head comparison between cell viability as determined by TB and that determined by AO/PI using an automated image-based cytometer, the Cellometer. Image-based cytometry allowed us to examine the morphological changes that occur in TB-stained cells, and these may explain the differences in viability counts reached by the two methods.



Tb vs FL
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Cellometer assists in creation of reference database of 1,800 quantified yeast proteins

Sara Barker | February 23, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer User Publications

Researchers at the University of Manchester (UK) created a reference database of 1,800 quantified S. cerevisiae proteins via specific isotope labeling and mass spectrometry. This is the largest database of its kind created to date, and the goal was to obtain a better understanding of intracellular protein concentrations, important information for those involved in molecular systems biology. The Cellometer was used to maintain accurate cell counts throughout experimentation. This database can now serve as a standard for the yeast proteome in all research going forward.

Read the full publication here. 

The Cellometer automated cell counters can provide many advantages in your lab. Learn more about how a Cellometer could be a great fit into your work!

Cellometer Vision is used to characterize fungi suitable for pest management

Sara Barker | February 18, 2016 | No Comments | Cellometer User Publications

Entomopathogenic fungi (ENPF)– those fungal species that use insect hosts to propagate – are of note in India due to their potential utility in pest management. The Indian Institute of Technology (New Delhi, India) obtained soil samples and isolated ENPF with the intention of studying how these types of fungi might be used to control the house fly, Musca domestica, an insect that causes many health problems in humans and animals in that country. The samples were then characterized molecularly and tested for pathogenicity against M. domestica. The Cellometer Vision was used to accurately maintain spore counts. Through this work, the researchers identified strains suitable to the given environment with high potency against the common house fly for further development.

Read the full publication here. 

The Cellometer Vision and Vision CBA systems provide researchers with great flexibility – the Vision system can be used for cell counting in bright field and also dual fluorescence, and can also perform cell-based assays with only 20 microliters of sample.