Quantitative Phase Imaging System

The Complete Solution for Live Cell Imaging & Cytometry

Measure dozens of characteristics in hundreds of living cells

Livecyte® is a unique system for live cell imaging which enables analysis of the physical characteristics and kinetic behavior of each individual cell in a population of hundreds, or even thousands, of cells. Time-lapse analyses archive these data sets over the course of hours, days, or weeks without ever losing track of a single cell. It will even track thousands of cells in each well of a 96-well culture plate, automatically, without worrying about focus, meniscus effects, cell movement, or “stitching” photos post-imaging. It is an elegant solution that--unlike other “live cell imaging” systems--has no detectable effect on the health, growth, or normal biological processes of the cells.



Application Notes
Live Cell Imaging Systems
e-Myco PCR Detection Kits
Disposable  Hemocytometers



By use of its advanced ptychography technology (a quantitative phase imaging technique), Livecyte generates quantitative data without the need for cell labelling. No traditional phase contrast imaging system has such power. Importantly, Livecyte system lets you observe your cells with minimal perturbation. This can be especially useful for primary cells, stem cells, and other sensitive cell types. How can it do this? Livecyte does not require staining, probes, fusion proteins, or even damaging light; it simply uses an ultra-low power laser. It’s so gentle that it represents a tiny fraction the power of even a standard red laser pointer.


Analyzes each cell in each well of a 96-well plate for hours

96-well PlateMitosis in action

Combines non-invasive, high contrast QPI with fluorescence imaging to ask tough questions about a cell's phenotype

Livecyte works by utilizing the inherent contrast mechanisms that all cells possess: refractive index and cell thickness (Z-axis). Livecyte employs a unique approach that uses a “phase retrieval” method known as ptychography which generates high contrast, high fidelity images without halos, speckling or other artifacts that prevent ultra-detailed analysis of cells. The image created by Livecyte clearly delineates cell shape, cell mass, and changes to the morphology, and in most cases does so far better than traditional phase contrast microscopes. Livecyte creates a precise map of phase shifts that can be related back to thickness and refractive index, thus enabling direct measurement of over two dozen physical properties of a cell. This is why labs turn to Livecyte when they wish to detect minute but significant changes to dozens of cell properties.


Digital Holography

Moving Cells


QPI inherent contrast


Versatility is a hallmark of Livecyte. No focusing is required. It can be used with a huge variety of cell culture plates, dishes, and flasks. A 96-well plate? No problem. Coated in lysine or collagen? No problem. Grown in Matrigel? No problem. Ptychography has the unique property of reducing background noise to make images cleaner, making cell features easier to differentiate. Samples can be indexed automatically from well-to-well, the objective power can be changed automatically throughout the entire acquisition phase, and a 7-color fluorescence microscope is fully integrated into the standard Livecyte. The latter is the perfect complement to any live cell imaging when correlating changes in cell morphology and movement to a particular structure of protein.


Livecyte Advatages


So what's so special about Livecyte?

To better understand the impact of drug treatments, genetic modifications, or environmental factors, it is important to be able to identify and observe all cells in a mixed population. Livecyte comes complete with automated cell tracking software (patent pending), which can follow all cells for a complete time-course, even if those cells pass over each other.


Additionally, the system takes advantage of low laser power--between 10,000 and 100,000 times less than that used for fluorescence microscopy. This means that cells can be imaged, if desired, for more than 1 week without suffering photo-toxic shock. This benefits all cell types, but especially fragile cells such as stem cells and primary cells.


As for imaging technology, Livecyte uses ptychography, which allows objective magnification and field of view to be decoupled. This results in large, continuous, high-resolution fields of view without stitching. For example, a 2.5mm x 2.5mm field of view can be captured with a 20x objective lens. A large field of view ensures that highly motile cells are not “lost” during long time-courses. An additional benefit is that multi-area time-lapse regions can be defined in single or multiple wells.


This system takes high contrast, high fidelity images which lend themselves to more accurate segmentation; this, together with software that identifies and continuously monitors 10 different cellular characteristics for each cell, results in consistently accurate tracking of all cells within a population. Multiple cellular measurements are captured for the whole time-course and available for interrogation. Videos of fully segmented cell populations can be generated automatically. In all cases, cells are perfectly focused irrespective of focal drift or uneven sample holders.


Choose your application then design, acquire, and analyze

Livecyte QPI System strives to make your experiment simple to set up and simple to analyze. Choose from a menu of relevant applications, and let the software do all the work for you. This novel, label-free imaging system is only beginning to scratch the surface of its potential in life science labs around the world. Here is a growing list of applications, along with the details you’ll want to know for your lab:


Next Generation Wound Healing from Phasefocus on Vimeo.

Next Generation Wound Healing Assay

Track individual cells or even wavefronts of cells as they grow and move to engulf an open gap on a scratch wound assay. Ultra-high contrast provided by Livecyte allows for every cell to be tracked and measured for “meandering distance”, “speed”, “Euclidian distance”, and many more dynamic parameters.



Cell death and cell growth from Phasefocus on Vimeo.


Cell Cytotoxicity Assay

Use Livecyte’s non-invasive time-lapse imaging to quantify cell death without the labels, dyes, or damaging phototoxic effects which can complicate interpretation of results when using fluorescence-based imaging systems. Livecyte performs continuous imaging to mitigate the need for the time-tested but labor-intensive approach of multiple fixed-point measurements. Your lab will obtain statistically robust measurements of cell death by sampling large cell populations and still be able to measure detailed morphological and behavioral profiles of individual cells to investigate modes of cell death.



Automated determination of Mitotic Time on Livecyte from Phasefocus on Vimeo.


Automated Determination of Mitotic Time on Livecyte

Livecyte automatically identifies mitotic cells by use of its novel label-free, high-contrast QPI technology. It can determine the mototic time for different treatment conditions without bias. With no effort by the researcher, Livecyte will examine hundreds of cells in each well of a cell culture plate and present beautiful graphs of: i) total number of mitotic cells, ii) mitotic time, iii) the cumulative time before exiting mitosis, and iv) mitotic exit half-life.



Livecyte Cell Proliferation Assay


Real-time Cell Proliferation Assay

Delve deeper into the dynamics of cell proliferation by measuring a cell count at every time point at every location without bias. Obtain time-resolved kinetic information related to rate of cell proliferation, and directly measure cell proliferation through accurate determination of cell number. With this non-invasive time-lapse imaging, you can now use these viable and unperturbed cells in further downstream assays.




Differences in dynamic and morphological phenotypic characteristics enabled by label free individual cell analysis

Label free calculation of cell death response curve

Livecyte can identify subtle differences in the behavior of cell populations that other microscopy techniques simply cannot. By using label-free, cell-safe QPI to measure dozens of different phenotypic characteristics for each cell in a population, these otherwise imperceptible differences are resolved individually instead of using a traditional population average.

Livecyte allows labs to produce a drug dose response curve without the use of fluorescent labels. Because it can be performed in a 96-well plate, this adaptable assay enables the use of plenty of controls for each chemical analyzed. The advanced application software will utilize dry mass to indicate cell death and can correlate fluorescence assays to validate measurement in specific wells, leaving no doubt as to the final interpretations.




Characterization of sub-populations of heterogeneous patient-derived primary prostate epithelial cell cultures

Label-free Mitotic Index

Livecyte uses its unique QPI technology to analyze and extract parameters to identify heterogeneity within mixed cancer cell populations. It gathers dozens of quantifiable characteristics of each cell in an absolutely non-perturbing manner. The software then seamlessly extracts multi-parametric data to clearly distinguish sub populations within complex cultures. These subpopulations can be classified by a “phenotypic fingerprint” and studied for drug treatment effects and more.

Livecyte QPI system is ideal for continuous monitoring of the mitotic index of a cell population in a thoroughly non-invasive manner. Because each cell within its huge field of view can be robustly segmented and tracked, the kinetic information of each cell is measured and stored for every time point. It can use this information to automatically identify cells undergoing mitosis and extract the mitotic index.

Data Acquisition

Livecyte’s workflow is designed to be intuitive for all users to set up, collect, and analyze their results easily and efficiently. Interactive tools allow experimental protocols to be optimized, saved, and re-used. Livecyte’s Cell Analysis Toolbox® (CAT) generates detailed data about each and every cell. The ability to study kinetic data hand-in-hand with morphological data provides new insights into cell behavior.

Morphological Data Population Metrics Kinetic Data
Surface profile/texture
and more...
Cell count
Total dry mass
Mitotic index
Proliferation rate
and more...
Euclidean distance
Meandering index
Instantaneous velocity
and more...

Livecyte Data Acquisition Dry Mass Livecyte Data Acquisition Velocity


livecyte software livecyte software


Type Fully automated brightfield, ptychographic phase, and fluorescent modalities
Objectives 4x to 40x objectives, 6 position turret
Stage 120mm x 75mm travel, high precision stage
Light Source Ptychographic - 650nm diode laser (4 µW/cm²)
Brightfield & Fluorescence - LED Illumination (filters for DAPI, FITC, Texas Red)
Camera Type sCMOS
Environmental Control Integrated full heat, CO2, and humidity control
Acquisition PC and Software 12TB data storage system (upgradeable to 92TB)
Dedicated cell analysis toolbox data processing unit
Cells Mono-layer of adherent eukaryotic cells
Warranty 1 year parts and labor


Livecyte QPI and Fluorescence Complete Cell Analysis System: Comprising Fully automated Brightfield, Ptychographic QPI, and Fluorescence for data acquisition and Image generation, data analysis, and data storage