Millipore Corporation today introduced Scepter™, the industry’s first handheld, automated cell counter at the American Society of Cell Biology Annual Meeting in San Diego. It miniaturizes Coulter cell counting technology found in much larger instruments into a portable device the size of an automated pipette.
“The Scepter handheld cell counter represents a breakthrough for life science researchers,” said John Sweeney, Vice President of Millipore’s life science business. “Unlike any other cell counter, this handheld device provides researchers with a simple and affordable automated option for counting cells and monitoring the health of their cultures.”
The instrument contains sophisticated electronics for cell sensing, signal processing, and data storage. A graphical display reports the cell count and average cell volume within 20 seconds of inserting the tip into a cell culture sample.
Currently, cells are typically counted manually under a microscope using a hemocytometer. However, loading a hemocytometer is a tedious task and variability in user technique can impact the accuracy and precision of results. Automated cell counters are available, but these bench top instruments are not portable and are considerably more expensive than the Scepter handheld cell counter.
In addition to showing cell counts and average cell volume, the instrument also displays a histogram of cell distribution by volume or diameter. The histogram can be used to provide an instant snap shot of the health of the culture. Results can be stored on the instrument or downloaded to a computer.
“This introduction once again demonstrates Millipore’s commitment to developing innovative products and technologies that simplify scientific workflows and enable advancements in life science research,” Sweeney added.
The Scepter instrument will be commercially available during the latter half of the first quarter of 2010.