Tecan launched the innovative Spark Cyto plate reader at SLAS Europe 2019, held in Barcelona, Spain, on 26–28 June. The system is the first live-cell plate reader to offer real-time detection and analysis of biological, chemical and physical events – capturing the maximum amount of data from every well, at the same time and under the same conditions.
Building on the success of the original Spark platform, it combines the flexibility of a high-end multimode plate reader with whole-well imaging and comprehensive environmental control for cell-based assays.
Spark Cyto uses top-of-the-range camera components and a patent-pending LED autofocus system to provide real-time data acquisition and analysis, ensuring that no key event is missed. It allows qualitative and quantitative information to be integrated into multiparametric data sets, delivering meaningful insights faster than ever before. With three magnification levels and four acquisition channels, it enables entire cell populations to be investigated by capturing the whole-well area of 96- or 384-well microplates in just one image, without tiling or distortion.
Dr Fabio Gasparri, Head of Cell Assays at Nerviano Medical Sciences and an early user of Spark Cyto, commented: “I was impressed by the system’s automated cell incubation and analysis capabilities. Cells were growing with similar doubling times, and even more homogeneously, compared to a dedicated cell incubator approach. The whole-well imaging capability for 96-well plates allowed reproducible analysis in real time.”
Dr Valery Bochkov, Professor of Molecular Pharmaceutics at the University of Graz, Austria, agreed: “Using the Spark Cyto for cell imaging, enzymatic tests and immunoassays, we were impressed by how intuitive and easy to use the software is. Our diploma and PhD students instantly learned how to work with Spark Cyto and obtain high-quality results.”