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High-Speed Cell Scanner
Cell3iMager / Cell3iMager neo

High-Speed Cell ScannerCell3iMager / Cell3iMager neo

Cell3iMager neo scans a microplate just in 54 seconds, and measures area, estimated volume, diameter and number of spheroids in next 30 seconds. It is also compatible with microscope slides, dishes and various microplates. Cell3iMager surely contributes to drug discovery and assays for regenerative medicine, through its high speed measurement and installed user-friendly software.

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High-throughput bright field scanners for automated, label-free profiling of 3D spheroids

SCREEN Cell3iMagers are bright field scanners designed specifically to simplify and accelerate quantitative and qualitative measurement of 3D spheroids. This unique LED-based imaging system allows the user to identify and measure single or multiple spheroids per well in a microplate rapidly and automatically. The companion 3D optimized analysis software allows faster image capture, measurement and data analysis, and is compatible with all major 3D cell culture platforms. To fit varying budgets and throughput needs, the imager is available in two models: the single-plate Cell3iMager Neo (cc-3000) or the four-plate Cell3iMager (cc-5000). See specifications tab for model details.

High-resolution spheroid scanning meets high-throughput demands

Imaging spheroids using conventional or even automated microscopes is a slow, low throughput process. High content imaging systems overcome some of these throughput issues, but are comparatively expensive, and still suffer from slow image capture/processing, and image analysis software not optimized for 3D spheroids. The Cell3iMager overcomes these limitations, featuring high-resolution scanning (up to 9600 dpi) without compromising scan time. This minimizes 'out of incubator' time to avoid jeopardizing cell health during analysis. The powerful automated measurement and analysis software eliminates cumbersome manual morphological measurements and improves data reproducibility. Simply scan, measure, and analyze.

Typical spheroid analysis includes a <1 minute plate scan followed by a 20 to 30 second auto-measurement step. Data can be reviewed and processed in the software module, or exported for analysis in your preferred statistical software package.

  • Rapid scan time (96-well plate in <1 minute) increases throughput (30 × 384-well plates/hour in the cc-5000 vs 2.5 plates/hour with conventional systems)
  • Preset plate definitions for all major hanging drop, ULA, and micropatterned 3D cell culture platforms (6-, 12-, 24-, 48-, 96-, 384-well), dishes, T-flasks etc.
Label-free detection enables faster processing with fewer processes

Although adaptable to higher throughput plate readers, biochemical assays that monitor viability (e.g., ATP content) can effectively correlate to spheroid size, but are often lytic or otherwise destructive in nature, requiring multiple replicates to be run for longitudinal studies. Label-free measurement of changes in 3D microtissue size and morphology using the Cell3iMager enables efficient assessment of phenotypic endpoints without disrupting microtissue growth, and can be used to focus selection of therapeutic targets and treatment strategies before costly and tedious testing in animal models.

Drug sensitivity of HCT116 spheroids to the cytostatic drug Gemcitabine was tested in a time-course study, with spheroid size assessed daily for 1 week using the Cell3iMager. Gemcitabine inhibited growth at concentrations of 4 nM and higher, as displayed by plotting spheroid area in μm2 over time (left). Comparison of day 7 spheroid area (black line, right) to total cellular ATP levels (green bars) at day 7 following treatment indicates spheroid size correlates closely with this lytic biochemical assay, while reducing spheroids used and processing time.

  • Non-disruptive, continuous assessment of spheroid growth conserves precious cellular material, reduces reagent use, and saves handling time
Powerful 3D software handles routine and complex workflows

Fast, high-resolution bright field optics and image capture are only half of the Cell3iMager package. Scanning more plates faster means more data to analyze, and the Cell3iMager's intelligent software provides the power needed to keep up. The software reports key spheroid growth and morphological parameters, including spheroid number, size, shape, and growth kinetics over time. Basic scanning setup parameters are included, and intelligent object identification settings can be customized and saved for repeated use to ensure accuracy and reproducibility within and between experiments. Growth curves and histograms are generated and can be copy/pasted directly, or raw data can be exported as CSV files for import into statistical and graphing software.

  • Supports basic (single-time point) and time-course dose-response analysis, as well as a multi-planar (focus bracketing) scanning option to use with hydrogel-embedded spheroids
  • 30+ adjustable parameters for optimizing object identification, live/dead discrimination (e.g., bubbles, fibers, debris), and compensate for edge of well shadows and distortion as well as reduction of background noise
  • Identify and measure microtissues in single spheroid per well or multiple spheroid per well formats


  • Phenotypic drug discovery
  • Drug sensitivity testing
  • Co-culture: loss of spheroid volume
  • Combinatorial drug testing
  • Drug-target discovery and validation
  • Quality control

Software & Accessories
Software & Accessories

The Cell3iMager spheroid analysis software allows processing of high magnification images of your 3D cell culture, including single or multiple spheroids, neurospheres, organoids, or embryoid bodies. Publication-quality high-resolution images, graphs, and histograms are rendered automatically, or data can be easily exported to your preferred statistical and graphing programs. Below is an overview of the software features and functions:

For scanning and imaging
  • Wide range of pre-defined plate maps and optimal focal plane heights available for all major 3D cell culture platforms
  • Selectable scanning resolution from 9600 dpi (2.6 μm/pixel) down to 200 dpi (9600, 4800, 2400, 1200, 600, 300, 200)
  • Ability to scan plates quickly and analyze data later at your convenience
  • Adjustable tone curve compensation for colored medium
  • Auto focus, fixed focus, and multi-planar options
For image analysis
  • Determination of spheroid number, size, shape, and growth kinetics
  • Analysis of single/multi-spheroids per well
  • Intelligent object identification to discriminate spheroids from fibers, debris, and bubbles
  • 30+ adjustable parameters for efficient profiling of spheroid growth and morphology
  • Convenient well-to-well comparison, zoom, and manual image modification/object identification options simplify user-optimization of spheroid analysis
  • Focus bracketing option enables high quality analysis of spheroids in hanging-drops or embedded in hydrogel systems
  • Automatic cell morphological classification (ACMC) option provides ‘intelligent’ automatic classification of live and dead spheroids, using logic derived from a user-defined reference set of live/dead spheroid
  • Auto-generated growth curves and histograms, with simple raw data export capability for further analysis
The basics
  • PC compatible (see specifications tab for details)
  • Regular software updates included for the life of the software
  • 3D InSight™ from our experienced customer support team to keep you informed of updates and provide on-site service if needed
The Accessories

Both the Cell3iMager neo (cc-3000) and Cell3iMager (cc-5000) are compatible with a wide range of 3D cell culture plate formats. Please see the list below:

  • InSphero GravityPLUS™ Hanging Drop System – 96-well
  • InSphero GravityTRAP™ ULA Plate – 96-well
  • Becton Dickinson (BD) Falcon-6, 24, 48, 96 (F & U bottom), dish (6cm, 35 & 60mm)
  • Cell Chart Test Plate
  • CORNING Costar ®-6, 24, 48, 96 & 384 (F & U bottom), dish (35 & 60mm), flask (25cm)
  • Dish (35 & 60mm)
  • Greiner 6, 96F
  • IWAKI 6, 12, 48, 96 (F & U bottom), EZSPHERE 96F
  • Microscope Slide (70mm X 70mm square; 27mm X 27mm square)
  • Mitutoyo Glass Scale Focus test
  • NEST 6
  • Nippon Genetics OrPlate-6
  • Nunc™-6, 12, 24, 96 (F & U bottom), 384
  • Orange Scientific 12
  • Scivax NCP-24, 96, 384
  • Sumitomo Bakelite Prime Surface SUMILON -24, 96 (M, V & U bottom), 384U bottom
  • Techno Plastic Products TPP 6, 24, 96F
  • TTreated Surface Cosmobrand-96 (F & U bottom)

F: Flat bottom, U: U bottom, V: V-bottom
Costar® and Nunc™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.


Cell3iMager Neo (cc-3000)Cell3iMager (cc-5000)
Well plates 6,12,24,48,96,384-wells, flat and U-bottom types, 35mm dish
Plate number 1 4
Scan speed 50 seconds/plate 54 seconds/plate
Measuring time 20 seconds/plate
Scan resolutions 2400 dpi, 4800 dpi, 9600 dpi
Light source/optical system White LEDs/transmission illumination
Measure Number, area, pseudo volume, circularity and diameter of spheroids
Focal plane setting Auto-focus, manual, multi-plane
Output format
  • Output format
  • Well and plate images
  • Numerical data per well
  • Statistics
  • Data according to treatment groups (concentration and time)
  • Standard file formats: TIF, CSV, and copy/paste via clipboard
PC specifications
  • Compatible with Windows 7® or Windows 8® professional SPI 64 bit operating systems.
  • 3.0 GHz Pentium processor (or compatible Core i5 CPU)
  • 8 GB system memory
  • 1,280 x 1,024 / 1,600 X 90 / 1,440 X 900 / 1,920 X 1,080 / 1,600 X 1,024 pixel screen resolution
  • USB 2.0 ports
  • 400 GB or more HD free space required
Robotics compatibility Yes No
Temperature 18 to 28°C (64 to 82°F)
Power requirements Single phase 100-240V 0.115 kw 0.85A Single phase 100-240V 0.12 kw 0.9A
Dimensions (WxDxH) 594 x 381 x 294 mm
(23 x 15 x 12 inches)
492 x 755 x 294 mm
(19 x 30 x 12 inches)
Weight 25 kg (55 lbs) 40 kg (88 lbs)


Q. What does the Cell3iMager do?
A. The Cell3iMager is a high-throughput bright-field scanner with an integrated 3D software which is the only cost effective, non-invasive solution for the kinetic growth profiling of 3D tumor spheroids. It is the fastest bright-field imager capable of scanning a 96-well plate in less than 1 minute.
Q. What cell culture platforms are compatible with the Cell3iMager?
A. The Cell3iMager is compatible with InSphero’s scaffold-free 3D cell culture platforms, including the GravityPLUS™ Hanging Drop System and GravityTRAP™ ULA Plates. The imager is also compatible with a wide range of 3D and traditional culture plates. Please see the accessories section for the most up-to-date list.
Q. How fast is the Cell3iMager and what throughput rates can be achieved?
A. Scanning time depends upon the number of wells being scanned and the desired resolution. Typical scanning and measurement time for 96- and 384-well plates at varying resolutions is shown in the table below. A total number of thirty 384-well plates can be scanned within 1 hr (cc-5000) at 2400 dpi resolution, the resolution recommended for use with InSphero plates. Image resolution is adjustable from 200 dpi, 300 dpi, 600 dpi, 1200 dpi, 2400 dpi, 4800 dpi and 9600 dpi. Scanning times are the same for the cc-3000 and cc-5000 models, although throughput will be greater for the 4-plate cc-5000 due to the multi-plate format which reduces plate handling time.

Typical scanning times

2400 dpi 54 sec 2 min
4800 dpi 2 min 8 min
9600 dpi 4 min 16 min
Q. Does the Cell3iMager have fluorescence or luminescent detection capabilities?
A. No, neither Cell3iMager unit includes multi-mode functionalities like fluorescence or luminescent detection capabilities. They are bright field scanners with an LED light source designed specifically for rapid bright field image capture and analysis.
Q. Is it possible to take color images?
A. Yes. It is possible to take color images. The software allows to save the scanned image in RGB (red, green, blue) or grayscale.
Q. Can the Cell3iMager analyze multiple plates at a time?
A. It depends. The Cell3iMager (cc-5000) can analyze 4 plates in a single scanning run, giving you the flexibility to scan up to four different plate types at a time if desired. The lower-cost Cell3iMager Neo is capable of scanning just a single-plate in one scanning run.
Q. Can the Cell3iMager be used for 2D cell imaging?
A. Yes. Both Cell3iMager models can be used for bright field imaging of stained 2D cell culture.
Q. Is the Cell3iMager compatible with an automated/robotic loading system?
A. Yes. Both the Cell3iMager Neo (cc-3000) and Cell3iMager cc-5000 are compatible with a plate stacker or robotic loading system. Please contact us for more details about robotic loading system setup.
Q. What are the recommended minimum PC specifications for the Cell3iMager?
A. Cell3iMager software included with each imager is compatible with Windows 7® or Windows 8® professional SPI 64 bit operating systems. The software is NOT compatible with MAC OS. Minimum recommended PC specifications are 3.0 GHz Pentium processor (or compatible Core i5 CPU), 8 GB system memory, 1,280 x 1,024 / 1,600 X 90 / 1,440 X 900 / 1,920 X 1,080 / 1,600 X 1,024 pixel screen resolution, USB 2.0 ports and 400 GB or more HD free space is recommended.
Q. Do you offer on-site demonstrations of the Cell3iMager?
A. Yes, we offer on-site demonstration of the Cell3iMager. A technical expert from SCREEN can visit you on-site to assist with initial instrument setup and software operation. Contact us (screen_lifescience@emis.screen.co.jp) to request an on-site demo.

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