Frequently Asked Questions
Want to know more about our products? The questions we most frequently answer are listed below.
If you need more information, feel free to reach us.
Yes. As the cassettes are pre-loaded with immobilized acridine orange (AO) and 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), they are ready for use and you do not need to prepare them prior to your procedure. By avoiding the use of trypan blue (toxic and classified as a Group 2B carcinogen), the operator is kept safe from harmful exposure. Work surfaces remain unexposed during the procedure. The cassette can be safely disposed of after use, supporting a safe and clean working environment. See why we cannot recommend using trypan blue.
No. Each cassette contains a built-in pipette. To load a cell sample into the cassette, submerge the pipette tip into the cell suspension and press on the piston. All cell sampling steps are performed within the containment of the cassette. Through this method, there are no user or pipetting errors to interfere with data generation, and the instrument’s software will tell you if you are working within the recommended cell concentration range.
What type of cassettes does your technology use, and can I “mix and match” them with different instruments?
Please have a look at our cassette comparison table for more information.
The Via1-Cassette™ and Via2-Cassette™ are both specially designed to minimize variation, optimize cell sample handling, and ensure safety in the laboratory. The cassettes are pre-loaded with immobilized acridine orange (AO) and 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) for labeling total cell and dead cell populations, respectively. They are an all-in-one solution that combine the steps of sample loading, staining and mixing for fast and error-free cell counting. Simplifying the process of cell counting increases the precision and reproducibility of your results, thanks to adopting a standardized procedure and a pre-calibrated volume within each cassette’s measurement chamber.
Both cassettes are used for loading, staining and analyzing cell samples, but they are used with different instruments and cell types. The concentration of DAPI is different in the two cassettes.
The Via2-Cassette™ is used with NucleoCounter® NC-202™. The Via1-Cassette™ is used with the NucleoCounter® NC-200™ and NC-3000™, except when working with cell cultures exposed to environmental stress factors such as freezing, heat shock or oxidative stress. In these cases, we advise you to use the Viability and Cell Count Assay protocol with the Via2-Cassette™ using the NucleoCounter® NC-200™. See our cassette comparison for details.
The storage temperature for each product can be found on its primary container and package insert, under the section ‘Storage’. You will find the insert in the shipment package upon arrival or find it on our website.
We do not advise that cassettes be used beyond their expiration dates. We cannot guarantee the stability of the dyes within the cassettes beyond the expiration date, and therefore data can be imprecise and may vary from measurement to measurement.
Yes, we offer Service Plans for the NucleoCounter® NC-200™, NC-202™ and NC-3000™ instruments, which include a service visit by one of our technicians who validates the instrument performance and provides instrument training to new and experienced users.
You can sign up to receive product notifications at this link.
For the NucleoCounter® SP-100™, YC-100™, SCC-100™ or NC-100™ instrument, refer to Tech Note 994-0016 Cleaning Guide for NucleoCounter® Family.
For the NucleoCounter® NC-250™ and NC-3000™ instrument, refer to Tech Note 994-0029 Cleaning Guide for NucleoCounter_NC-250 and NC-3000.
See each instrument’s product page from the links above for further details on your product.
The NucleoCounter® NC-200™, NC-202™ and NC-3000™ all come with GMP and CFR Part 11-ready software. This means, you can fully integrate single or multiple instruments into your existing IT networks. You can also configure locations where data is saved—and have the convenient ability to save data remotely. Read the full details in our mini review.
When you are trying out our instruments, we will include a laptop with the demo instrument. If you decide to purchase an instrument, you will need to provide your own laptop/PC/tablet that best suits your IT setup and needs and meets the instrument’s minimum compatibility requirements. Please see the individual product pages to view each instrument’s user guide.
The LEDs built into the NucleoCounter® instruments are highly durable. Taking the NucleoCounter® NC-202™ as an example, the LEDs contained within it can perform >200,000 analyses without experiencing any significant change to the count in a cell sample. Read the Technical Note about our LEDs.
Our automated cell counters are known for their high precision. Let us know your research objectives, what instrument you are currently using, and we would be happy to discuss options on how we can improve your counting.
Both the NucleoCounter® NC-202™ and NC-200™ are quality, high-precision instruments, used in a wide range of industry and research applications. The NucleoCounter® NC-202™ is our 3rd generation automated cell counter with improved features, which you can read about on the product page. For more information and to request a demo on either instrument, please get in touch.
The NucleoCounter® NC-200™ counts 5×104 – 5×106 cells/ml. The NucleoCounter® NC-202™ counts 5×104 – 1×107 cells/ml.
DebrisIndex™ is a tool for monitoring production runs, providing a read-out of the amount of debris in your culture, relative to your cell concentration. The tool is a feature of the NucleoCounter® NC-202™ and its accompanying NC-View™ software. Discover the DebrisIndex™ and its features.
Can the NucleoCounter® count cells grown on microcarriers, or cells that are usually difficult to count?
Automated cell counting using a NucleoCounter® with the Cell Count & Viability Assay is an accurate and reliable method for measuring cell count and viability in microcarrier cultures. This assay is specifically designed for microcarriers and requires a lysis step immediately before the cell counting step, which rapidly releases nuclei from the microcarriers into suspension.
The operator simply loads the sample containing released nuclei into the Via2-Cassette™, which is pre-loaded with fluorescent dyes for automated fluorescent staining. The image acquired by the NucleoCounter® is then automatically processed by its software, handling data acquisition, image analysis and data presentation. The entire procedure takes less than five minutes and can be performed without the use of pipettes, dilutions and multi-step staining procedures.
Absolutely.NucleoCounter® instruments offer robust and reliable solutions for counting cells in aggregates and clumps. They use fluorescent dyes to stain cell nuclei and employ a powerful algorithm to segment single nuclei within each smaller aggregate.
For more heavily clumped samples, a numerical estimation of the level of cell aggregation enables the operator to make an informed decision on whether to switch to the dedicated Aggregated Cell Assay, which disassembles cells with a lysis step.
It varies, depending on the instrument, consumable and assay that best suit your needs. For example, using the NucleoCounter® NC-202™, analysis time is approximately 30 seconds. With the NucleoCounter® NC-200™, it takes 50 seconds for a one-step analysis, and two minutes for a two-step analysis. Using the NucleoCounter® NC-3000™ advanced image cytometer, cell cycle analysis takes five minutes, and the apoptosis and GFP assays take one minute each, for example. These speeds are the average speeds you can expect when using computer processors that are recommended for each instrument. Using a processor that is slower than the recommended speed to use with the instruments will result in a longer analysis time and a longer wait for your results. To find out more about which cell counter is the most appropriate your needs, please get in touch.
Our NucleoCounter® instruments count cells that are between 5 µm to 30 µm in diameter.
Our NucleoCounter® instruments count mammalian cells in suspension, aggregates and on microcarriers, and insect, yeast and sperm cells. Some instruments are optimized for a specific cell type i.e. the NucleoCounter® SP-100™, and others can count cells from all eukaryotes i.e. the NucleoCounter® NC-202™.
We cannot recommend using trypan blue for cell counting. From cell toxicity, risking cell count accuracy and viability, to endangering operator safety, find out about the reasons in our review on this dye.
Placing an Order
Please submit a quote request and we will follow up shortly.
For orders fulfilled by our HQ and New York office (for US orders), the lead time for your consumables is two weeks.
You can find the prices on our webshop.
Use & Care for Reagents
Enter the item number in the “Quick Search” box on our webshop. Select the “Certificate of Analysis” tab.
My product arrived at room temperature, but it is supposed to be stored at 4°C or lower. Is it still OK?
All products are shipped at ambient temperature without affecting product performance or quality. When you receive a product, follow the storage instructions, ensuring it is stored at the recommended temperature. You can find the storage temperature for each product’s primary container and package insert, under the section ‘Storage’.
Most of our products will remain stable at room temperature for several days, but as soon as you receive your product(s), please follow the storage and temperature recommendations to prolong shelf life.
Products that contain fluorescent dyes (e.g. cassettes and dyes in aqueous solutions), are very light sensitive. We recommend performing a small-scale experiment comparing the product to a known reference to confirm that it still works for your application before processing multiple or particularly important samples.
Most of our products are stable at room temperature for many days, so keeping it at room temperature for one to three days is unlikely to cause harm to the product. We recommend performing a small-scale experiment comparing the product to a known reference to confirm that it still works for your application before processing multiple or particularly important samples.
They are good for 15-18 months after production if they remain sealed. Once opened, they have a shelf life of two weeks. You will have at least six months of shelf life for any consumables you order.
Question Not Answered?
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about your order, a shipment, or operating your instrument.