A Quantitative Live Cell Imaging System

The HoloMonitor® live cell imaging system enables long-term non-invasive analysis of cell cultures within a normal incubator. Cell biologists worldwide employ the HoloMonitor cell imager to auto­mat­i­cally obtain live cell morphology, migration and proliferation data on a single-cell level in real-time.

Why HoloMonitor?

Closeup of the HoloMonitor live cell imaging microscope on a lab bench.

A Cell Friendly Imaging System

HoloMonitor’s cell-friendly nature makes it an ideal tool for viewing and analyzing live cell cultures in real-time. In particular, when working with rare and precious cells, e.g., stem cells and primary cells.

All HoloMonitor live cell assays are label-free. Label-free assays not only reduce the risk of unwanted toxicity. They also allow cell samples to be reused, as no reagents are added to the sample. Hence, they save time and money.

But foremost label-free assays save hard-to-get cells.

A Cell Incubator Imaging System

The HoloMonitor cell imager can, of course, be used on the lab bench. But, it excels when you allow it to operate from within a cell incubator or inside a hypoxia chamber.

Regardless of how long your experiment may be, it will image and measure your cells for just a few hours, a few days, or even weeks if needed.

Interactive scatter plot created by HoloMonitor live cell imaging system. In the scatter plot, cells are visualized by hovering over the corresponding data point.

A Single-cell Imaging System

The holographic 3D images created by HoloMonitor allow cell populations to be studied on a single cell level, without requiring labels or stains.

In the HoloMonitor software, it is possible to create various scatter plots based on cell morphology. Also, when you hover over a data point, the software will display the matching cell.

This feature will allow you to quickly select which cells to include when you gate the cells. In addition, it will help you to assess outliers.

The Applications

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

3D Cell Morphology

Cell morphology typically refers to the 2D shape of a cell. Advanced imaging systems, like confocal microscopes, can assess the 3D shape of cells. But at the cost of being highly invasive.

However, unlike a confocal microscope, the HoloMonitor live cell imager can assess the 3D shape without harming the cells.

In the images created by HoloMonitor, the difference in optical density between the cell and the cell culture media give a cell its 2D shape and outline. The same difference also gives each cell its volume and size.

On a smaller scale, the same difference in optical densities but between the subparts of the cell creates the cell’s surface texture. Thus, a changing cell surface means that the cell’s subparts are moving around inside the cell. In other words, a changing cell texture indicates that the cell is reorganizing itself.

The reshuffling implies that the cell is either leaving or pro­gress­ing in the cell cycle. The two cases can be distinguished. A steady increase in cell volume shows that the cell is in good health and is gaining mass for the next cell division.

Black image showing tracked single cells with colored trajectories

Cell Motility & Migration

You can measure cell migration using transwell assays or Boyden chambers. However, using chemotaxis slides together with HoloMonitor gives easier and more rewarding results.

Cell motility and migration are measured by using the HoloMonitor Cell Tracking Assay. You begin by capturing images and the assay will guide you through the whole process. The assay allows you to record images in one or more samples, and it will auto­mat­i­cally capture images at the sample positions you have selected.

After the imaging system has recorded the images, the tracking software will track the cells and compute the tracking data. The software will then calculate cell speed and the direction of movement for each of the tracked cells.

As a bonus, the software will also provide you with more than 30 shape measurements for each tracked cell.

HoloMonitor App Suite software

Kinetic Cell Proliferation

The HoloMonitor Cell Proliferation Assay is a non-invasive assay. The assay neither requires any reagents, stains, or labels, nor does it need any special sample preparation. As a matter of fact, the cells do not even need to be trypsinized. The only thing the assay needs is a standard adherent cell culture in an ordinary cell culture vessel.

You can perform the assay at any time during your live cell experiment. The assay leaves the cell completely unaffected. Which, of course, reduces the number of required samples a lot.

Saving you time, money, and not least precious cells.

The Workflow

HoloMonitor App Suite - live cell imaging and data analysis software

A simple, easy-to-use, and foremost an intuitive software is a vital piece of a state-of-the-art cell imaging system. With this in mind, our application specialists have created a workflow that leads you through 5 simple steps when setting up a time-lapse imaging experiment:

  1. Assay selection
  2. Basic setup
  3. Image capture setup
  4. Start capturing images
  5. View the results in real-time
Workflow of the HoloMonitor cell imaging software, App Suite


Swarming Cells

The video shows dividing and moving L929 mouse fibroblasts. In the video, the color of a cell visualizes its thickness. Accordingly, thick rounded mitotic cells appear in green and flat non-dividing cells in orange. Indeed, the time-lapse was created by the HoloMonitor cell imaging system — this time over the course of 35 hours.