BioTek Newsletter - September

logo-biotek-agilent.pngHello and welcome to our second BioTek Newsletter! As COVID-19 continues to disrupt our lives in every aspect we hope that this newsletter brings you some valuable insights as well as hopefully make you smile.

This month Beata dives into one of her favourite applications and provides some insight into kinetic imaging.

We also feature some great Visual Abstracts this month. These are wonderful short PowerPoint animations that highlight an application. The team at BioTek have made more than 50 of these so there is bound to be one that you'll like.

Happy reading!

What's New?

Synergy H1 Hybrid Multi-Mode Reader - Now with Variable Bandwidth Monochromators!

syngery-h1a.jpgSynergy™ H1 is a configurable multi-mode microplate reader, with monochromator-based optics for flexibility, filter-based optics for sensitivity, or both. BioTek's patented Hybrid Technology™ offers applications versatility and excellent performance in a modular platform to expand as your laboratory's needs change.

This versatile reader now offers continuously variable bandwidth monochromators; the fluorescence excitation and emission bandwidths can be set between 9 nm and 50 nm, in 1 nm increments, allowing users to fully optimize reader settings to drive the best assay performance compared to fixed bandwidth systems, as shown below.


Learn more

Image-based Kinetic Analysis of Cell Proliferation and Cell Death Mechanisms - Cytation 7 Enables Analysis of Cell Proliferation

Aberrant cell proliferation and evasion of cell death are well established hallmarks of cancer. Understanding how cells overcome endogenous barriers to cancer development and respond to cancer therapeutics requires assays that deliver detailed quantitative results.

The kinetic cell proliferation and cell death assay described here utilizes both label-free cell counts and fluorescence markers for apoptosis and necrosis to generate cell proliferation profiles and relative rates of cell death in real time

In the example presented below, the automated, image-based assay was used to monitor proliferation and cell death of fibrosarcoma cancer cells responding to multiple anti-neoplastic drugs within the 384-well microplate format.


The high contrast brightfield imaging method available with Cytation enables label-free cell counting for kinetic live cell assays.

View App Note

cytation-monitors.pngThe ability to image samples using brightfield, high contrast brightfield and up to four fluorescence color channels makes Cytation Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Readers powerful, versatile tools that are ready for any assay.

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Cell Count & Viability App

The Cell Count & Viability App is an efficient tool for automating mammalian cell counts, enabling rapid counts and producing high quality data. The App is a key component of the Cell Count & Viability Starter Kit, which is designed to help you get started with automated cell counting with your BioTek Cytation™ or Lionheart™ images.

Learn More

Beata's Blog

beata.jpgKinetic Fluorescence Live Cell Imaging

One of the most critical tools (and prettiest) for investigating the highly dynamic nature of living organisms is through live cell imaging. Early cell research was performed as end-point experiments, where cells are incubated with a test molecule for a period of time, before a microplate read or image step, to determine effect. Unfortunately, sometimes the true effect of a treatment can be missed if the incubation time was too short or even too long. Kinetic assays, where monitoring is preformed throughout the entire incubation period, allows us to obtain greater biological insight into cellular responses. And kinetic imaging assays also allow for observations of changes in cellular morphology and phenotype.

The combination of kinetic live imaging with conventional fluorescence microscopy has become an integral part of cellular analysis methodologies. Fluorescence imaging relies on illumination of fluorescent molecules with a defined wavelength of light ideally near the peak of the fluorophore excitation spectrum, and detection of light emitted at a longer wavelength. Fluorescent probes/dyes and fluorescently labeled proteins, along with outstanding imaging systems such as the BioTek Lionheart, Cytation5 and Cytation7, provide researchers with a range of tools to investigate virtually any cellular process of interest.

There is a brilliant guide from BioTek on Fluorescence Kinetic Live Cell Analysis, that covers a variety of techniques to help move your science forward, including:

  • Detecting Cell Cycle Phase Through the Incorporation of Cell Cycle/Fluorescent Protein Fusions
  • Kinetic Live Cell Imaging of Apoptosis and Necrosis
  • Characterizing Calcium Mobilization using Kinetic Live Cell Imaging
  • 2D Scratch Wound Healing Analysis of a Co-Cultured Cell Model
  • Monitoring Mitochondrial Dynamics via Live Cell Imaging

For each of these applications, the guide describes the assay's principle, gives a method summary and provides the analysis of results from BioTek's imaging systems and awesome Gen5 Image Prime software, that makes its all so much simpler to do.  Much of this work as been published, so this guide gives you a great starting point to get you thinking about how you can advance your cellular based research… and get some pretty fluorescent images too :)


Since we have all been in lockdown companies have switched to offering as much as they can online. BioTek jumped on board and offered some great webinars and the one below was a particular highlight!

3D Culture Methods and Imaging Considerations - On Demand

Presented by: Brad Larson and Valerie Sodi, Field Applications Scientists

The use of three‐dimensional (3D) culture models is rapidly expanding due to their recognition as representing more structurally and physiologically relevant models of in vivo biology. 3D cell culture assays attempt to mimic the cellular microenvironment including in vivo extracellular matrix (ECM) composition. In this webinar we cover the advantages and limitations of the various culture models, assay formats, and imaging approaches. Attendees should gain knowledge on setting up and optimizing a broad range of 3D assays that are the best fit for their particular application

Topics Covered: 3D culture models, scaffold free vs. hydrogel matrix models, overview of the generation and use of organoids, molecular, biochemical and imaging assay methods

Watch Recording


This month we are featuring some of our favourite Visual Abstracts. These are short animations highlighting an application and how it can be analysed. There are plenty to choose from so we'll pick out a couple each month for you to enjoy :)

Colour Brightfield Imaging H&E Stained Tissue

Hematoxylin dye targets nucleic acids with a brilliant blue color, while eosin targets proteins with a pink color. This dye combination produces the classical tissue coloration of stained paraffin embedded tissue that can be viewed using color brightfield microscopy.

View Visual Abstract

Label-Free Tumour Invasion Assay Using 3D Tumour Spheroids

A surrogate model for metastasis is constructed using a co-culture of cancer cells and fibroblasts aggregated into a 3D spheroid (the tumor) embedded in chemoattractant-infused matrigel (surrounding tissue). Over time, the cancer cells invade into the matrigel which can be inhibited by drugs that block chemoattractant-cancer cell association

View Visual Abstract

Automated Wound Creation for Scratch Wound Healing Assays

Automated wound creation decreases variability within and between wounds, improving repeatability of generated cell migration data. Combined with kinetic image capture and analysis, a robust method to generate high quality scratch wound healing results is created.

View Visual Abstract

Current Promotions

Purchase a BioTek Synergy or Cytation Reader for use with Agilent MitoXpress of ph-Xtra Assays and Receive a FREE Filter Cube!

filter_cube_8040501_synh1_500x270.pngCombining MitoXpress and pH-Xtra reagents with BioTek plate readers provides sensitive detection methods, including advanced lifetime ( μs ) time-resolved fluorescence (TRF), for getting the most meaningful data out of your cell metabolism assays.

Contact us today to take advantage of this limited time offer and save!

Terms and Conditions: Promotion ends on the 30th September, 2020. Offer is valid on new Synergy H1, Synergy Neo2 and Cytation 1/5 instrument orders placed during the promotional period only. The free cube offer is in addition to the user-selected sube that is already included with the noted instruments. Cube or cube set must be included on the same order as the instrument. This promotion can not be used in conjunction with any other special offer or quote. GST and shipping/handling fees are not included.

Purchase a BioTek BioSpa Live Cell Analysis System and Receive Free Environmental Control!

BioTek's BioSpa Live Cell Analysis System automates many applications in multiple plates for continuous live cell imaging and analysis. The core BioSpa System includes Biospa 8 Automated Incubator and Cytation Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader - together, they automate kinetic live cell workflows in multiple plates for hours, days or weeks. The system provides temperature, gas and humidity control for up to 8 microplates for short and long term assays.

Benefits of BioSpa Live Cell Analysis System:

  • Amazing imaging application versatility on a single platform
  • 1.25x to 60x magnification captures the level of detail you need, from whole well montage to intracellular detail
  • Integrated temperature and CO2/O2 control, plus humidity monitoring
  • Z-stacking and z-projection, plus z-stacked montage are more powerful capture and processing tools to get vital information from 3D biology

Contact us today to receive your free environmental control!

Terms and Conditions: Promotion ends on the 28th February, 2021. Offer valid on new BioSpa Live Cell Analysis System orders placed during the promotional period. Both BioSpa and Cytation must be on the same order. This promotion can not be used in conjunction with any other special offer or quote. GST and shipping/handling fees are not included.

Buy a MultiFlo FX, Get a Free AMX Module!

landing_page_promo_multiflofx_amx_module_1000x390.jpgBioTek's MultiFlo FX Multi-Mode Dispenser is a versatile tool for liquid handling workflows. MutliFlo FX automates fast dispensing and washing, gentle addition and removal of media, and dispensing into individual wells. The patent-pending AMX Automated Media Exchange module gently automates critical steps in spheroid and non-adherent cell-based assays, protecting 2D and 3D cell structures and suspension cells - all in one compact platform.

Benefits of BioSpa Live Cell Analysis System:

  • Multi-mode dispensing replaces up to four dispensers and a washer
  • Parallel Dispense technology: Peristaltic or syringe dispensing of up to four reagents with no crosscontamination
  • Cell-friendly angled dispense and wash tubes, adjustable flow rates using lidded plates
  • BioSpa 8 Automated Incubator compatible for live and fixed cell assay automation

Contact us today to get your free AMX Module!

Terms and Conditions: Promotion ends on the 28th February, 2021. Offer valid on new MultiFlo FX instrument orders placed during the promotional period only. This promotion can not be used in conjunction with any other special offer or quote. GST and shipping/handling fees are not included

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