Cell Viability

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About Cell Viability

The Vi-Cell system by Beckman Coulter is an imaging system designed for the analysis of yeast and mammalian cells suspended in culture media. The system automates the traditional and well accepted trypan blue dye exclusion method for cell counting and determination of cell viability by reporting the percentage of viable cells in the culture. Many industries measure cell viability or the health of cells and culture systems grown in bioreactors. This information is then used to make modifications to the cell culture environment and optimize the culture to ensure cell growth.

The traditional trypan blue dye exclusion method functions in a way that when a cell dies the cell membrane becomes permeable which allows the dye to be absorbed into the cell. Live cell walls are not permeable to the trypan blue dye. Under a microscope, using the manual method, cells are seen to be darker in color due to the trypan blue dye being absorbed. Live cells under a microscope seem bright. The Beckman Coulter Vi-Cell system automates this traditional method using a camera to take images as cells are passed by the measurement zone. Software then determines the percentage of viable cells by using imaging contrast between the live, bright, cells and the non-viable, dark, cells.

The Reagent System

Part of the Beckman Coulter Vi-Cell is a reagent system. The reagent system resides inside the Vi-Cell and is designed for the user to install and replace as needed. The Vi-Cell system uses four reagent lines to connect to the reagent pack. These lines are all color coded to allow for easy and proper installation. Please note that improper installation of the reagent lines to the reagent pack will result in erroneous data.

The Cell Viability Reagent Kit from Cell Viability Incorporated is a direct replacement for the reagent system for the Vi-Cell system from Beckman Coulter. The performance of these packages has been proven to be of equivalent quality and performance at a significant savings in price. The system consists of for bottles that are clearly color coded.

After installing the Cell Viability Reagent Pack follow the instructions as listed in the Beckman Coulter Vi-Cell instrument manual including the “Instrument” and “Replace Reagent Pack” from the instrument software toolbar. This will prime the Vi-Cell system with the new reagent pack and reset the reagent level meter. A manual verification is recommended which is done by checking the five LED lights in the reagent compartment to ensure they are all illuminated. Please note that if any of these LED indicators are not illuminated, select the “Prime” function in the “Instrument” toolbar.

The LED indicators point out if the lines connected to the Cell Viabiltiy reagent pack are primed or not.

  • Green line is for the Buffer solution. Green on the Reagent Pack
  • Red line is for the Disinfectant solution. Red on the Reagent Pack
  • Yellow line is for the Cleaning solution. Yellow on the Reagent Pack
  • Blue line is for the Trypan Blue reagent solution. Blue on the Reagent Pack
  • There is also an LED indicator for the Waste bottle indicating when the reagent waste bottle is filled and must be replaced