TTP LabTech initiated the second generation of high content screening (HCS) systems with the launch of the triple laser Acumen eX3 microplate cytometer at SBS 2006
An evolution of its highly successful Acumen Explorer HCS platform technology, the Acumen eX3 is equipped with up to three lasers at 405, 488 and 633nm, offering a wavelength range for excitation that is similar to that of white light source instrumentation and significantly increasing the variety of fluorescent reagents compatible with the system.
The new Acumen eX3 will simplify assay transfer from development to screening laboratories by delivering the powerful object recognition of CCD Imagers combined with the fast reads of bulk fluorescence readers.
Scanning up to 64 whole wells at a time, the Acumen range of laser-scanning fluorescence microplate cytometers can perform cytometric analyses at throughputs of up to 200 plates - or 300,000 data points (1536 plates) - per day.
Putting the development of the Acumen eX3 in context, Wayne Bowen, TTP LabTech's CSO said: "The Acumen Explorer is routinely relied on for high content screening in industry and academia because of its unique ability to combine data collection from whole well scanning with fast read times.
"The Acumen eX3 offers huge flexibility: researchers can select the optimum laser combination required to excite the fluorescent probes being used.
"Since nuclear staining is not required to locate the cells, all probes may be used for reporting biological responses.
"The upshot is that, with simultaneous four colour detection, the Acumen eX3's possible performance exceeds the limits of current multicolour, multiplexed assay protocols, giving an assurance of future-proofing".
The Acumen eX3's enhanced software gives the added flexibility of exporting TIFF images which closely match those captured using a 20x microscope objective for subsequent analysis by third party image analysis software.
This facilitates the seamless transfer from assay development on microscope-based CCD Imagers to assay screening on the Acumen eX3 with minimal changes to experimental protocols.
Flexibility is further assured since the Acumen eX3's functionality can be built-up over time, starting with one laser and retrospectively adding additional lasers, depending on user or assay requirements.
By combining the power of rapid, whole well data collection with the ability to classify objects within cells, or sub-cellular events, the Acumen eX3 represents a major breakthrough for microplate cytometers in the assay development-to-screening process.