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Live cell monitoring - development of an automated cell cultivation and monitoring system

: Malthan, Dirk; Huchler, Roland; Brandenburg, Albrecht; Thielecke, Hagen; Hildebrandt, Cornelia; Zühlke, Dietlind

Association for Laboratory Automation:
LabAutomation 2008. Where Science, Technology and Industry Come Together : Final Program & Abstracts. January 26-30, 2008, Palm Springs, California, USA
Palm Springs/Calif., 2008
International Conference on Laboratory Automation (LabAutomation) <2008, Palm Springs/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Fraunhofer IPM ()
Fraunhofer IBMT ()
Fraunhofer FIT ()
Zellenfertigung; Zelle (Biologie); cell monitoring; Zelle; Biologie; Automatisierung

The reproducibility and comparability of cell cultures presently suffers from different and user-dependant handling by the technical personnel in the cell culture laboratory. Although there are first automated systems available, those are based upon rigid industrial processes, do not provide optical monitoring and cannot be run under optimal climate conditions. Within a joint project between four Fraunhofer Institutes, a platform technology for reproducible and standardized cell monitoring and cultivation has been established. After the input of a source cell culture flask, the complete cell culture procedure is executed automatically, including optical monitoring, addition of factors, exchange of media, passaging and reformatting. This is only feasible by means of an optical image acquisition of cell cultures and a user-friendly image analysis software that determines cell culture condition in order to control cell culture process accordingly. The cell culture process can thereby also be documented and archived. Finally, the expanded cells (contained in flasks or micro well plates) can be taken out and applied for cell-based screening, toxicity tests or other purposes. The whole cultivation process takes place under cultivation conditions (37 °C, CO2, 98 % humidity) to leave the cell culture in an optimal environment and to avoid stress because of climate changes.
The talk will cover both technological and application aspects of the developed system regarding image acquisition, trainable software for user-friendly image analysis, the hygienic concept and performed sample applications.