The Colony Forming Unit (CFU) or Colony Forming Cell (CFC) assay has become unanimously recognised as the “gold standard” method for measuring the effect of radiation, chemotherapeutic drugs and other agents on cell viability. However, manually counting these resulting cell colonies is a highly laborious task in which consistent objectivity is difficult to accomplish.
Participants discovered how hardware and software systems can be used to automate mammalian cell colony counting to achieve dramatically increased accuracy, productivity and throughput enhancements for cancer biologists involved in drug discovery, radiobiology or toxicology research. Automated colony counting opens the way for ambitious new projects that will advance the frontiers of research – including large-scale combinational studies.
Beyond contrasting the manual and automated methods of colony counting participants were provided with a real-time example of a sophisticated automatic colony counting software – the GelCount by Oxford Optronix.