Kinetic live cell imaging PDF Print

Aim. The use of multiparameter measurements (high content analysis) instead of single endpoints increases the predictivity of in vitro toxicity testing. This is why high content screening (HCS) is becoming a important practice e.g. in drug discovery to study the toxicity and efficacy of the new drug molecules. HCS is currently usually carried out with microscopy by using different fluorescent labels. These test are usually end point tests. Current fixed HCH endpoints do not usually permit kinetic analysis. They provide single snapshots in time in the cellular function. Extending HCS to kinetic live cell studies enables more comprehensive temporal evaluation  of phenotypic response of dynamic cellular events e.g. cell migration, cell division, endocytosis and subcellular translocation.

Principle.We are using an automated cell culturing and pattern analysis platform Cell-IQ (by Chip-Man Technologies Ltd.) for kinetic live cell imaging. The machine vision system consisted of a special cell culture incubator with an inbuilt microscope and camera system. Altogether, two wellplates (up to 96 well format each) can be placed in the incubator at the same time and the system permits long-term culture of cells for days/weeks. The automatic monitoring and capturing was continued for the intended exposure time. The resultant captured images were analyzed with the Cell-IQ software. The system can be used to collect both phase contrast data and fluorescent data and their combination.

Status. It is possible to do long-term analysis of cells with cell-IQ to automatically identify and quantify changes in cell phenotype.   Once the user identifies the cellular features of interest and the Cell-IQ is taught to identify these features automatically as a function of time.  Multiple features can be monitored simultaneously.  Practically any morphological parameter that can be differentiated by naked eye can be analyzed and quantified by Cell-IQ e.g.: i) Cell number, cell viability, cell division, cell death; ii) Morphological parameters; iii) Cell movement iv) Analysis of structures composed of groups of cells (either in 2D or 3D) in cell culture.