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.

Cassette Technology

Are the cassettes safe to handle without personal protective equipment?

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.

Do I need to use pipettes with the cassettes?

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.

What’s so unique about the Via1-Cassette™ and Via2-Cassette™?

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.

What’s the difference between the Via1-Cassette™ and Via2-Cassette™?

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.

Instrument Maintenance

At what temperature should I store my products?

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.

Can expired cassettes be used?

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.

Do you offer preventive maintenance (PM) services?

Yes, we offer Service Plans for the NucleoCounter® NC-200™ and NC-202™ 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.

How can I find out about new software releases and other product updates?

You can sign up to receive product notifications at this link.

How do I clean my NucleoCounter® instrument?

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.

Please note that NucleoCounter® NC-200™ and NC-202™ do not require cleaning. Please contact our Technical Support Team if you have any further questions about cleaning your instrument.

See each instrument’s product page from the links above for further details on your product.

Instrument Specifications

Are the NucleoCounter® instruments suitable for GMP?

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 journal.

Do you provide the computer/laptop for the NucleoCounter®?

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.

How long does the LED light source last?

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.

What are the advantages of the NucleoCounter® instruments compared to other cell counters?

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.

What’s the difference between the NucleoCounter® NC-200™ and NC-202™?

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.

NucleoCounter® Technology

At what cell concentration do the instruments count?

The NucleoCounter® NC-200™ counts 5×104 – 5×106 cells/ml. The NucleoCounter® NC-202™ counts 5×104 – 1×107 cells/ml.

Can the NucleoCounter® count cell culture debris?

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.
Can the NucleoCounter® count heavily aggregated cells?
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.

How fast does the NucleoCounter® count one sample?

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.

What size cells can the instruments count?
Our NucleoCounter® instruments count cells that are between 5 µm to 30 µm in diameter.
What types of cells can the instruments count?

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™.

Why doesn’t your technology need to use trypan blue?

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

How can I get an instrument pricing estimate?

Please submit a quote request and we will follow up shortly.

How do I place an online order?

Visit our webshop to make a purchase online. For US-based customers wanting to purchase online, please email us at with the item (product) number, quantity, recipient address/contact and billing address.

What is the average lead time on consumables?

For orders fulfilled by our HQ and New York office (for US orders), the lead time for your consumables is two weeks.

Where can I find the prices of your consumables and reagents?

Read more on how to order here

Use & Care for Reagents

How can I get a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for an item?

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.

My product was accidentally exposed to light. Is it ruined?
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.
My product was accidentally left out at room temperature. Is it ruined?

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.

What is the average shelf life of consumables?

They are good for 15-18 months after production if they remain sealed. Once opened, they have a shorter shelf life that you can check in their specific Package Insert.

Question Not Answered?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about your order, a shipment, or operating your instrument.