CytoSMART

Donation of 100 live-cell imagers to support
COVID-19 research

  • Donation of 100 CytoSMART Lux2 systems to support the fight against covid-19

Notification: Donations are no longer in effect, read the text below to learn more about what they entailed.

CytoSMART Technologies has donated 100 mini live-cell imaging systems to researchers in high containment labs worldwide, also known as biosafety level 3 and 4 labs (BSL -3/4). Labs working to combat COVID-19 were aided by this initiative, as CytoSMART aims to reduce the huge workload currently facing researchers on projects vital to controlling the disease.

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First and foremost, we want to thank the researchers who are working so hard to understand and find solutions to prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading further. The dedication and resilience these people have shown inspired us to start this initiative.

We were very happy to be able to raise awareness about the donation. We would like to thank all our colleagues and news-outlets that helped spread the word. We sent our devices to BSL-3/4 labs spread out over 6 continents and 21 countries, including the United Kindom, Germany, China, Romania, and the United States. We summarized the data in the graph below, displaying where the devices went.

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The research groups have used the CytoSMART Lux2 to investigate, for example:

  • the cytopathic effect (CPE or anti-viral assays)
  • the growth/adaptation of the virus
  • the growth kinetics of cells and virus
  • the survival of viral parts
  • the cell confluence
  • neutralization/blocking of the virus (neutralization assays)
  • the cytotoxicity of anti-viral compounds
  • the virus proteomics

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"We aimed to do our part to assist researchers in minimizing the time they have to spend in high-contamination labs, by providing them with remote video access to evaluate the status of their cell cultures. The video data is used to remotely monitor the cytopathic effect, this way researchers know when it’s the right time to harvest the virus." - Joffry Maltha, CEO CytoSMART Technologies

According to guidelines by the CDC and the WHO isolation and characterization of COVID-19 should be performed in BSL-3 laboratories. Performing research in Biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratories (BSL3 or BSL4) means working in a highly controlled area. Many precautionary measures have to be taken to ensure the safety of researchers and help prevent the diseases they are working with from spreading outside the lab. Removing and replacing the protective clothing and apparatus can be time-consuming and expensive, so entering the lab should ideally only occur when absolutely necessary.

"This compact microscope allows us to watch SARS-CoV-2 infected cell cultures life while off-site. Herewith, we can limit short trips to the lab and save the protective gear including the scarce FFP2 masks."

Izabela Rodenhuis-Zybert | Virologist / PI

University Medical Center Groningen

"This compact microscope allows us to watch SARS-CoV-2 infected cell cultures life while off-site. Herewith, we can limit short trips to the lab and save the protective gear including the scarce FFP2 masks."

"On behalf of Institute of Bio-sensing Technology, UWE, I would like to say a big thank you for your kind donation of CytoSmart Lux2 in support towards our research studying the mechanism underlying SARS-Cov-2 infection."

Dr. Ibidapo Williams | Cell Monitoring Technology

University of the West of England

"On behalf of Institute of Bio-sensing Technology, UWE, I would like to say a big thank you for your kind donation of CytoSmart Lux2 in support towards our research studying the mechanism underlying SARS-Cov-2 infection."

CytoSMART Lux2 in action

Monitoring the cytopathic effect of the SARS-CoV-2 on VeroE6 cell culture

Zoltan Kis from the National Public Health Center (NNK) in Hungary used the CytoSMART Lux2 live-cell imager to monitor the cytopathic effect of the SARS-CoV-2 on VeroE6 cell culture. The cytopathic effect can be seen by the rounding and detachment of the cells.

How remote live cell imaging can help COVID-19 researchers

Monitor your cells from home

Remote live-cell imaging allows the COVID-19 researcher to monitor and analyze their cells without having to enter the lab. This saves a lot of time and reduces the risks that are involved with performing COVID-19 research.

Live-cell imager allows remote monitoring of cell culture growth

Evaluate the cytopathic effect to assess virus replication

CytoSMART’s unique and compact live-cell microscope films living cell cultures without disturbing their growth or behavior. The device operates from inside cell culture incubators and is accessible from an online environment. This enables researchers to analyse their cell cultures remotely and assess e.g. the cytopathic effect, which is caused by virus replication. Using the CytoSMART Lux2, researchers will know when to take action for the next step and harvest the virus.

CytoSMART supports labs all over the world

In the fight against COVID-19 together

We are no longer accept applications for a free CytoSMART Lux2 live-cell imaging system. If you are interested in the product or would like to request a web demo, you can do it here.

Technical specifications

Optics Bright-field only with digital phase contrast
Magnification 10x fixed objective
Fluorescence Filters N/A
Camera 5MP CMOS
Image Formats JPG, XLSX and MP4
Image Size 1280 x 720 pixels
Field of View 2.4 x 1.5 mm
Culture well-plates, petri dishes, flasks, microfluidic chips and custom culture vessels
Computer Requirements Windows 7, 8.1 or 10
Power Supply AC 100-240V, 2A, 10W, 50/60HZ
Dimensions 13.3 x 9.0 x 10.0 cm (L x W x H)
5.2 x 3.5 x 3.9 in (L x W x H)
Weight 0.5 kg (1.1 lb)
Operating Conditions 0 - 42 °C, 5-95% humidity
Warranty 1 year parts & labor
Research use only. Not intended for diagnostic purposes

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, if you are working in a BSL-3 lab on the COVID-19 virus, we donate the system free of charge. However do note that the device requires a dedicated PC or laptop that runs on windows 10 with a USB3 port and an active internet connection. We do provide laptops if these are not present, these however have to be bought.

The CytoSMART Lux2 remote functionality runs on cloud-based software. In this cloud-environment the images are stored and can be accessed using user-specific login details. Next to data storage, image analysis algorithms can be run to quantify confluence and cell migration. Labs that apply for the CytoSMART Lux2 get a free, 2-year licence for this software.

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