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Live cell imaging

Image. Count. Normalize.

Cell counting, viability analysis and live-cell imaging in a multimode reader? With Tecan’s Spark®, all this is possible. Spark has a simple and cost-effective cell imaging module built directly into the reader, enabling automated cell counting and viability analysis in slides, as well as bright field imaging and automated confluence assessment in microplates. With these integrated features, Spark delivers better quality and more relevant data for your cell-based research and opens the door to the exciting world of live-cell imaging.

Related products:  Spark multimode reader




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Tab 01 / Live viewer
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Tab 02 / Cell counting and viability
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Tab 03 / Live-cell imaging and confluence
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Tab 04 / Live-cell package
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Live-cell package

Complete environmental control, simplified

Your life as a cell biologist revolves around keeping your cells happy, no matter the time or day. Take back control of your time and keep your cells happy by automating your workflows. Spark brings together the capabilities of an automated incubator, a microplate reader and a cell imager in one, offering new possibilities for you and your lab.

 

 

Integrated incubator

Spark is equipped with precise temperature control to enable uniform heating of your microplate. To help ensure even temperature distribution, the microplate chamber is thermally isolated from the optics, guaranteeing stable and precise temperature regulation for your assays.

Spark adds another layer of environmental controls by putting CO2/O2 partial pressure control at your fingertips. An integrated Gas Control Module (GCM™) offers CO2 regulation from 0.04 to 10 % (vol.) and O2 from 0.1 to 21 % (vol.), creating an ideal environment for your cells. CO2 regulation maintains cell health during long-term kinetic studies, while O2 control allows you to maintain the correct atmosphere for microaerophilic organisms or mimic physiologic conditions.

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Humidity control – protection from edge effects

Humidity regulation at levels of 95 % or higher is another key element for good cell viability and growth, and minimizing evaporation is essential to maintain constant concentrations during long-term assays. Spark’s Humidity Cassette is a cost-effective solution to minimize evaporation in any SBS-format microplate.

This tool incorporates a filling moat and has a specialized lid for use with our unique Lid Lifter™, giving you passive humidity control for any assay. Simply add ddH2O to the filling moat and you have an instant, no-fuss humidified atmosphere in your microplate chamber.

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Lid Lifter

Spark gives you access to a new type of reader automation – integrated lid lifting – creating new workflow possibilities, reducing the risk of sample contamination and helping to establish an ideal environment for long-term kinetic assays. Whether you want to dispense compounds without the need for manual intervention, or maintain optimal environmental conditions without compromising evaporation protection, Spark is the only reader up to the task.

Software designed for scientists

SparkControl™ combines automation of long-term kinetic assays with advanced features such as kinetic conditioning, remote operation and Open Kinetics, providing a hands-off solution for complex experimental set-ups.

Many live-cell kinetic experiments require specific actions – for example, addition of a compound – once a certain signal level or OD value is reached. Multimode readers equipped with manual environmental controls can make this type of study cumbersome or error-prone.

SparkControl’s kinetic conditioning feature allows you to program the system to automatically perform a required action as soon as a predefined signal is reached in a control well, fitting almost any assay workflow you can think of, in un-lidded or lidded microplates.

SparkControl’s remote control feature allows you to monitor or operate the instrument from outside of the lab. This enables full system control without the need to sit in front of the reader for hours; if you are connected to the internet, then you are connected to your experiment.

A multimode reader is frequently used for multiple applications by various users. Long-term live-cell kinetics assays can block the reader for an entire day, limiting overall lab throughput. SparkControl offers an efficient solution: Open Kinetics. This feature allows you to pause and resume kinetic experiments, enabling additional measurements to be performed throughout long-term studies. This frees up the instrument for other users, eliminating one of the major bottlenecks of shared lab equipment, without compromising your valuable research.

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Literature

Tecan’s Spark multimode microplate reader was used to identify metabolic changes during the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells and to assess and quantify cell viability, cytotoxicity and apoptosis, using several well-established and reliable cell-based assays developed by PromoCell.

Tecan’s Spark multimode microplate reader was used for the real-time analysis of human stem cell proliferation and differentiation, using established assays for cell viability, proliferation and apoptosis assessment in a reliable and convenient manner.

Assaying cells in an appropriate window of time after a compound-¬mediated cytotoxic event can be extremely challenging. This note describes the automation for kinetic monitoring of cytotoxicity and viability using three Promega assays for viability, cytotoxicity and apoptosis assessment with the Spark multimode reader.




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Tab 05 / Specification
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Imaging specifications

The best choice for your money

1 - Imaging mode: Bright field
2 - Objective magnification: 4x
3 - Autofocus: Laser-based
4 - Camera: CMOS 1.3 megapixel
Illumination: High power LED (590 nm)
Optical resolution: >3 µm
Read speed: <5min
(1 image per well for 96-well plate)

Schematic representation of Spark's optical imaging system.