What does the GelCount do?
The GelCount is a combined hardware and software platform which images multi-well plates, Petri dishes, or T-25 flasks arising from tumor colony forming assays. Image processing yields colony counts and additional parameters such as colony size distributions, all of which can be simply uploaded into Microsoft Excel.
What makes the GelCount unique?
GelCount is the only imaging system created specifically for the objective and reproducible detection, counting and analysis of mammalian cell colonies in semi-solid media or suspension, an otherwise long and tedious procedure carried out under a microscope.
How does the GelCount work?
The GelCount combines cutting-edge, high depth-of-field, high-resolution scanning hardware with a software-controlled sample loading mechanism that automatically sends images of colony samples to the PC through a USB-2. Image processing occurs via proprietary software residing on any PC that has the powerful, ‘CHARM’-based algorithm software.
What are the applications for the GelCount?
The GelCount is of interest to cancer researchers who employ the colony forming assay to measure the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs and other treatment regimes on cells. Other applications for the GelCount could include the cell proliferation assay, the invasion assay and bacterial and yeast colony counting studies.
Can the GelCount be used for CFU / BFU stem cell colony counting?
No. GelCount will not dependably detect highly diffuse colonies (i.e. CFU-G/M colonies) or highly irregular colonies (i.e. BFU-E colonies). The ‘CHARM’ algorithm was not made for colony counting based on colony morphology.
Is the GelCount suited to count adherent, stained colonies?
Yes! The GelCount is well suited to imaging and accurately process stained, adherent cell colonies within multi-well plates, Petri dishes or T-25 flasks.
Do colonies in semi-solid media, or spheroids in suspension need to be stained?
Typically no, the GelCount will generally detect unstained colonies effectively. Performance can be boosted in some cases (e.g. very small colonies) by using MTT-based metabolic stains.
Can the GelCount be used to count yeast or bacterial cell colonies?
Yes! While not a primary application, GelCount can be used successfully to image and count bacterial or yeast cell colonies on standard, non-opaque agar plates (example images available if needed). These colonies need to be over 30 µm to be accurately counted.
Can the GelCount act as cell counter?
Generally no. The GelCount does not contain any magnifying optics and was created to count colonies of 20 or more cells as opposed to individual cells. On the other hand, at its maximum resolution setting (2,400 ppi) the GelCount is capable of distinguishing individual adherent cells, provided they are well stained and discrete. Therefore, under ideal situations, the GelCount may be used to quantify a cell proliferation assays (sample images available if needed).
Does the GelCount allow colonies to be counted or omitted based on size or shape?
The GelCount’s software features extensive colony detection parameters. This includes settings for minimum and maximum colony diameter limits, colony shape parameters and sensitivity levels. Importantly, the user-created detection settings can be saved as templates and reused during future counting sessions.
What is the minimum colony size GelCount can detect?
Depending on spacing of colonies, general colony morphology, and the background, the GelCount can distinguish colonies as small as 30 µm in diameter at its maximum resolution setting (2,400 ppi).
What culture-ware is compatible with the GelCount?
The GelCount is compatible with 6-, 12-, 24-, 48- and 96-well plates (up to 4 plates of any one type may be imaged simultaneously), as well as with 35 mm (up to 24), 50 mm (up to 12) and 100mm (up to 4) Petri dishes and some specific T25 flasks.
What throughput rates can be achieved with the GelCount?
The throughput rate is largely limited by the speed of image acquisition, which is in itself a function of the user chosen image resolution and the plate or dish type used. Typical processing time (acquiring the image and processing it) for four 6-well plates of adherent, stained colonies is around 6 minutes (600 ppi). Alternatively, the processing time for four 6-well plates of non-adherent colonies in soft agar is about 12 minutes (1,200 ppi). At the highest demand, which is four 96-well plates, imaged at maximum resolution (2,400 ppi), the total processing time would be around 45 minutes.
Is the GelCount able to analyze multiple samples simultaneously?
Yes, up to four multi-well plates, four 100 mm Petri dishes, twelve 50 mm Petri dishes, or up to twenty-four 35 mm Petri dishes may be loaded and processed into the GelCount at once.
Is GelCount compatible with Mac OS X?
At the moment the GelCount’s operating software is only available for PC platforms. However, the GelCount software can be run in ‘off-line’ mode on Mac computers if they feature Intel processors through the Apple Boot Camp application, where a licensed copy of Windows 7 or Windows 10 is installed.
What is the recommended minimum PC specification for GelCount?
The recommended minimum PC specifications are: AMD or Intel dual/multi-core processor @ 2 GHz or above; 8 GB or above of system memory; discrete graphics accelerator with 512 MB or above; two open USB2 ports; Windows 7 or Windows 10 operating systems. An installation of Microsoft Excel is required to support basic data output functionality.
Do you offer demonstrations of GelCount?
Yes, we can always arrange for a live screen-share/teleconference-based introductions and demonstrations of the GelCount by an experienced product specialist. This presentation will go over the what the hardware can do and be followed up with a real-time presentation of the software. Online demonstrations are always free of charge and can typically be arranged within a week. Further, arrangements can also be made to temporarily place a system in the lab (for further details speak to an associate).