HoloMonitor ® — A Cell Culture Microscope

The inverted HoloMonitor cell culture microscope facilitates label-free single-cell analysis on a population level in real-time. HoloMonitor operates within a CO2 incubator or hypoxia chamber, enabling long-term studies of in vitro cell popu­lations in a stable and physio­logi­cally relevant environment. HoloMonitor non-invasively quantifies more than 30 cellular parameters reflecting:

  • Cell proliferation
  • Cell migration and invasion
  • Cell morphology and differentiation
The inverted HoloMonitor live cell imaging microscope system provides more than 30 cell parameters, reflecting cell culture health, proliferation, migration, differentiation and cell cycle phase.

Cell-friendly long-term analysis

From just a single cell culture experiment you can learn how treatments affect the response and behavior of your cell culture samples. HoloMonitor is an incubator tolerant phase imaging microscope. This allows HoloMonitor to provide label-free cell culture analysis in an optimal environment over extended periods of time.

The inverted HoloMonitor cell culture microscope operates in a cell incubator, hypoxia chamber or directly on the lab bench.

HoloMonitor cell morphology assay: cell morphology analysis using gated scatter plot

Single-cell Analysis on a Population Level

HoloMonitor deploys quantitative phase contrast microscopy to non-invasively analyze cellular events by long-term digital phase imaging. While recording, the time-lapse image sequences are automatically analyzed to in real-time provide single-cell and population information in the form of graphs and scatterplots.

Workflow of the HoloMonitor live cell imaging system

First point of investigation

Contrary to fluorescence microscopy, the cells are non-invasively imaged with a low power laser without labels or stains. This leaves the cells completely unaffected for further down­stream studies using complementary instru­mentation, for example, fluorescent imaging by high-resolution confocal microscopy.

Sequence of images showing cell divisions, created by the incubator-based cell culture microscope - HoloMonitor

Time-lapse Imaging

From within the cell incubator, HoloMonitor records multiple time-lapse image sequences of a cell culture sample. The data analysis can be done anywhere on a standard laptop, which has access to the recorded image data.

By reanalyzing recorded time-lapse data using the HoloMonitor live cell imaging applications, multiple results are obtained from a single cell culture sample.

One sample, multiple results

By letting several HoloMonitor applications analyze the stored image sequences, a multitude of results is obtained from a single sample — saving time, effort and precious stem and primary cells.

A Cell Culture Microscope

for and by cell biologists

Designed by cell biologists, the HoloMonitor cell imaging software offers a simple and guided user interface with self-explanatory workflow, from experiment setup through data analysis. In addition, you can also easily create colorful videos and images. All data can of course be exported to Microsoft Excel for further analysis.

Workflow of the HoloMonitor cell imaging software, App Suite

Peer-reviewed publications

Customers employ the HoloMonitor incubator microscope for cell culture analysis in a variety of fields within cell biology, including cancer research, drug discovery and stem cell research. To date, research results have been published in more than 150 peer-reviewed publications.

The HoloMonitor live cell imaging system brochure

The HoloMonitor cell culture microscope quantifies living cells by measuring how light changes direction when passing through unstained cells. The cells are completely unaffected, as no light energy whatsoever is absorbed or transferred to the cells — no energy exchange, no change


In this cell culture analysis webinar Kersti Alm, Head of Biology at PHI, demonstrates how to quantify cell movements and relate them to other cellular parameters, such as cell size and shape.

She shares the results of the latest publications by scientists using HoloMonitor and high­lights the great potential of simul­taneously quantifying cell movement and morphology, for both single-cells and cell populations.

Sample Requirements

  • The HoloMonitor assays neither require fluorescent proteins or labels, nor any specially designed vessels, making protocols straightforward and easy-to-use.
  • A monolayer of adherent eukaryotic primary cells or cell line cells seeded in any of the recommended vessels.
  • Customers have successfully used HoloMonitor with a large number of cell types, see peer-reviewed publication list.