Benefits of Autonomous Cell Imaging Systems

Benefits of Autonomous Cell Imaging Systems

As life sciences and biomedicine research is propelled forward, more advanced and automated technology is necessary to keep up with the data throughput needed for scientific innovation. Microscopic imaging biological processes provides a foundational method of data acquisition and analysis that is widely used in biomedical studies. Autonomous cell imaging systems are a significant platform that positively impacts life sciences research in numerous ways.
This article will briefly outline autonomous cell imaging systems and their benefits, with an emphasis on our WiScan Hermes system.
Hermes 24/7 fully autonomous imaging system integrated to an automated liquid handler at a customer site in The Weizmann Institute of science
The advantages of using autonomous cell imaging systems

Autonomous cell imaging systems transform image-based scientific experimentation through a variety of benefits. With minimal involvement, these systems reduce human error human bias and time needed for human intervention in experiments having long durations, large chemical libraries, or both.

When researchers can trust the computer-driven platform that obtains and analyzes images, they are freed from such monotonous and tedious tasks.  Instead, they can focus their time on experiment planning and interpreting the resulting data.  Being able to dedicate themselves to these activities grants big-picture control over where they want their research projects to go rather than getting lost in the details.  

Our WiScan Hermes autonomous cell imaging platform incubates, loads, and unloads plates for imaging. This system also acquires and analyses high resolution images with automated high content analysis software included in the platform. This autonomous cell imaging system can produce data ready for presentation with a variety of tools for complex data visualization, such as plots, graphs, and heat maps, all of which is easily exported. Also, the Hermes system is compact with a minimized footprint, can be accessed from different directions, and can be easily repositioned with a dedicated docking station. Having a multi-step scientific process compacted into a single unit from a single supplier streamlines laboratory productivity.

Using autonomous cell imaging systems for protein research in Yeast models: A case study

Autonomous cell imaging systems can be applied across a wide array of biomedical contexts.

Our entirely autonomous Hermes imaging platform was designed to meet the needs of Weizmann Institute molecular genetics Professor . Specifically, Professor Gerst required an imaging solution to conduct his life science research that focused on mRNA and protein trafficking in yeast cell cultures. The Hermes system combined a wide range of functions into a comprehensive platform that included automated sample handling, high magnification for bright field and fluorescence imaging, and image analysis capabilities.

The Gerst lab relies on a Tecan liquid handler to prepare their samples but needed robotics to improve throughput of their imaging methodology.  Together with the Gerst lab, IDEA Bio-Medical designed a compact and mobile robotic sample handler.  It could be interfaced with their Tecan system, rolled away to make space, then brought back all without the need for repeated cross-system integration. 

Given the small nature of yeast cells, the Gerst lab also required the combination of high numerical aperture oil immersion objectives with automated scanning of 384 multi-well plates.  As described in our post about oil immersion objectives, these lenses allow for improved spatial resolution and enhanced light collection.   Importantly, the Hermes gentle LED illumination does not damage the yeast cells. 

To achieve the required autonomy, we developed a precision oil immersion media dispensing system.  It autonomously applies oil to an objective when needed without the need for human intervention.  Together, the robotic arm and oil dispensing system enables new screening capabilities for fully automated workflows.  With this technology, conducting life science research is advanced with the delivery of high-quality visual data by a single, all-encompassing platform.

Autonomous cell imaging systems with IDEA Bio

IDEA Bio-Medical supports novel, artisan science.  We believe that scientific innovation requires pushing established technology beyond its existing, out-of-the-box capacity.

Our WiScan Hermes platform provides users a simple, intuitive, and compact autonomous imaging system, including live-cell and time-lapse imaging. And our team of expert scientists and software developers are customer oriented, and are dedicated to designing new products for the unique and individual needs of our clients, such as the Hermes 24/7 autonomous cell imaging system. . Directly inspired by customers, the WiScan Hermes system enables more efficient and higher quality research processes.

If you are interested in adding the WiScan Hermes system to overcome your specific imaging challenges or require customized autonomous cell imaging systems for your own biomedical applications, please request a demo or submit a message to a member of our versatile team as soon as possible so they may address your specifications and requirements.

With a footprint of less then 1m^2, the setup is saving on valuable lab space
Plate loading and unloading for imaging on the Hermes system is done in a fully autonomous fashion via API interface to external 3rd party lab robotics