HoloMonitor M4: A live cell imaging system for cell incubators or hypoxia chambers

HoloMonitor® — An Incubator Microscope

HoloMonitor is an advanced, but compact, incubator microscope. It is built to operate 24/7 in the humidity of your standard CO₂ incubator or hypoxia chamber. Hence, it lets you study your cells where you normally grow them. As it works completely label-free, this enables long-term cell studies in cell-friendly, stable and physiologically relevant conditions.

Compact to fit inside your standard incubator

The HoloMonitor incubator microscope can be placed on any lab bench. However, it really excels when placed inside a CO₂ incubator or hypoxia chamber. It needs only half an incubator shelf, leaving most of your incubator available for regular cell culture work. Further on, HoloMonitor is built to operate 24/7 in a humid environment for long periods of time. This allows you to continuously monitor and analyze your cells, in ideal growth conditions, for as long as you need.

Non-invasive imaging under physiologically relevant conditions

An incubator microscope images your cell cultures where you normally grow them, be it a CO₂ incubator or hypoxia chamber. This ensures stable and physiologically relevant growth conditions and minimizes the culture environment’s impact on cell behavior. In addition, HoloMonitor images your cells completely without labels or stains. Hence, you can be sure that the cell behavior you see comes from your experimental treatments—not your lab equipment.

Real-time, single-cell imaging from inside your incubator

HoloMonitor images and analyzes your cells continuously and in real-time, all live from the inside of your standard incubator. Each captured image contains all recorded data for every single cell. This lets you analyze your cell cultures not only on a population level but all the way down to a single-cell level. From the image sequences, you can create time-lapse videos, graphs and scatter plots based on over 30 cellular features. This allows in-depth analysis of your cells’ behavior.

Without HoloMonitor I wouldn’t have the very important live view. HoloMonitor is a really nice tool. You start testing your cell cultures while they are inside the incubator and then leave to grab a cup of coffee. It’s very simple to use! And when the tests are done, you get the data, images and the time-lapse recordings.

Prof. Anette Gjörloff Wingren
Malmö University

Why an incubator microscope over a stage-top incubator?

Incubator microscope imaging inside incubator

A stage-top incubator is a small, external incubator chamber attached to a standard inverted microscope to enable live cell imaging. Needless to say, such a small space is very sensitive to external influences. It simply cannot sustain a stable environment comparable to that of a real incubator.

Cell culture conditions are critical. Dramatic environmental changes can lead to changed cell behavior, irregular cell morphology changes, and abnormal cell proliferation. This defeats the purpose of studying live cells. We designed the HoloMonitor incubator microscope to run 24/7 inside a standard incubator, without compromising image quality or instrument lifespan. This allows you to monitor your cells under the best conditions possible.

Lastly, the limited incubation chamber space of a stage-top incubator often requires special culture vessels. On the contrary, the HoloMonitor incubator microscope allows you to monitor your cells using standard culture vessels. It can use a variety of vessels, from 35 mm Petri dishes to 96-well plates, as well as microslides.