February 13, 2017

Authors: Joe Clayton and Peter Banks, BioTek Instruments, Inc.


Characterizing cell proliferation is a crucial aspect of biological research and therapeutic drug development. Most current cell proliferation assays rely on indirect biochemical metrics that are limited by artifacts or imaging-based endpoint measures. Here we describe a continuous live-cell assay for determining cell proliferation profiles using the BioSpa Automated Live Cell Imaging System, consisting of BioSpa 8 and Cytation 5. This fully automated method enables quantitative and phenotypic long-term analysis of cell growth using non-invasive measures of confluence or direct cell count.

To demonstrate the abilities of this system to conduct robust and reproducible kinetic proliferation assays, NIH3T3, HeLa, and HCT116 cell growth was followed for five days. All three cell types exhibited robust logarithmic growth up to full confluence with doubling times consistent with literature values. Additionally, to demonstrate the ability of this system to screen pharmacological agents, cell proliferation profiles for cells cultured with eight concentrations of two literature-standard inhibitory compounds were generated. Calculated IC50 values were used to measure drug response for each compound and cell type.

BioSpa System