We are looking for a cell counter for automated counting of insect cells. What is your experience with these instruments? We want to demo the Peqlab Cellometer Auto T4 plus and also the Invitrogen Countessa. Any other models that you can recommend?
(I have changed the visibility of this topic to private, but please remember Hueseyin's rules for posting!)
we have been using the TC10 cell counter from Bio-Rad and are quite happy with its performance so far. The single-use slides cost almost the same for a single box of 30 slides or a big box with 1400 slides (~65 vs- 63 Cents per measurement, 2 slots per slide), so no big saving if you buy lots of slides. The counts are quite reproducible and reliable within the cell densities we're working with (0.3x10^5 - ~6x10^6) in case of insect cells without the need for dilution.
We haven't tested the Peqlab instrument but we had the Countess for a couple of weeks for thesting in our lab before the TC10. At that time automated cell counting did not seem absolutely necessary but we decided to get the TC10 some time later, not so much because it was much better than the Countess, it was more the flexibility of our budget and the window of opportunity which were in favour of the Bio-Rad machine.
Hope that helps.
We use Countess for insect cells. Both the instrument and slides are not too expensive in comparison with other automated cell counters. Work well for us. Able to give accurate cell viabilty even for late infection (when cell lysis occurs) and the cell size during infection is useful.
We are using the CASY cell counter from Roche for our insect-, hybridoma- and mammalian cells. It works nicely in our hands. Typically you use 25 - 100 µl of cell suspension which you add to 5 ml of CASYton solution in plastic vials. You get the total nr of cells, viability and diameter and some other parameters (that I never look at) in less than a minute.
I don't have any price information, but you need the counter, CASYton solution, CASyclean (for regular cleaning) and the plastic vials. I don't know how this system compares to the other ones.
If you also need transfection efficienciy to be part of the output, I can recommend the Nucleocounter from Chemometec.
Its an old colleague of mine that is involved in the company, but I still think its very usefull.
we use the Beckman ViCell. Its more expensive, but you don't need disposables, like slides. It records viability and cell diameter which is crucial for monitoring infection.
We had also taken the Casy / Roche into consideration
We bought the Sceptre from Millipore.
Counting is reasonably accurate (in certain ranges).
Gives good data for size distribution, i.e. you can clearly see the shift in cell size between non/infected Sf9 cells (uploadable or viewable on pipetter screen). May be able to correlate this with viral titre?
Dilution may be necessary for working range.
Some media intefere with readings (Incl Sf900 SFM III) so dilution may be necessary.
No 'viability' e,g. by Trypan exclusion but good viability is normally related to good (narrow) size distribution-so far we haven't really correlated them.
Disposable single-use counting tips.
No out off warranty repairs currently possible in Europe so you have to buy a refurbished unit at 25-30% initial cost! Four of these units have required out of warranty repair in the IRB so far with an average age of 18 months.
Thanks a lot for your helpful comments!
In case anyone is interested, we demoed 3 systems - the Invitrogen COuntess, the Biorad TC10, and the Peqlab Cellometer Auto T4.
The Countess demo model that we got must have had some problem, because it crashed several times over 2-3 days. It was also slower than the other 2, and the counts were not always consistent when comparing duplicate samples (though again, this particular machine I suspect had a problem).
The Peqlab machine is very nice, but requires a PC to run the software. The software has many more features, such as manual editing of counts, defining your own cell line parameters, etc, but is also a bit higher in price (plus the extra cost of a computer). Of course the visualization of the cells was the best on this system since you have a large PC monitor.
The Biorad machine is very simple, but gave accurate counts and was easy to use, plus had a lower price, therefore we went with this system.