xCELLigence – Online-Measurement of Cell Activities without Labelling

07 Jul 2008
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We are pleased to announce the launch of the xCELLigence System, a cell-based assay system that represents the perfect integration of micro electronics and cell biology. xCELLigence is Roche Applied Science’s new cell analyzer system -- – originally invented by US-based ACEA Biosciences, and co-developed by Roche and ACEA. The xCELLigence system will be marketed exclusively by Roche on a worldwide basis.

The design of the electronic sensor, innovative techniques to collect and assess data and optimised instrumentation make this system a unique platform for cell-based assays and provide a benchmark potential for cellular and molecular biology. Continuous measurement is performed label free and fast – the system needs less than 15 seconds to analyze a 96 well E Plate.

The xCELLigence System is composed of four main components: the RTCA Analyzer, the RTCA SP Station, the RTCA Computer and integrated Software, and the disposable 96 well microtiter E-Plate. With its compact design, the RTCA SP Station is located inside a standard tissue culture incubator and is capable of switching any one of the wells on the E-Plate 96 to the RTCA Analyzer for impedance measurement. Under precise software control, the RTCA SP Analyzer automatically selects wells for measurement and continuously transfers measured impedance data to the computer. Cell Index values, derived from the measured impedances, are continuously displayed in real time by the software user interface. This allows for easy setup and customization of assay protocols and for simplified integrated, on-line data analysis.

The heart of the technique is a micro-electronic biosensor which is built into each well of the standard 16 or 96 well E Plate microtiter plates. A cell which has contact with the sensor changes the electrical impedance between the microelectrodes. Each change in the cell’s status – for example, changes in cell adhesion, cytotoxicity, cell proliferation, cell – cell interactions, and morphological changes – leads to changes in the impedance measurements and can therefore be easily and quickly detected in real time. Labelling of the cells, which can induce non-physiological changes in the cells, is not necessary. The system is label free and requires no reporters.

This superior technology has a number of advantages in comparison to conventional systems. It is suitable for uninterrupted monitoring of processes in living cells and for monitoring real-time kinetics. The system supplies a densely concentrated stream of information and shows excellent sensitivity and reproducibility when monitoring the overall cell population of a cell culture.

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