Automated harvesting

The CellCelector is a flexible multiplatform system for precise isolation and secure transport of cell colonies, specific parts of colonies or even single cells into a new culture environment. The instrument consists of an inverted microscope equipped with a CCD camera and a motorised stage holding the cell culture dish, a high-precision robotic arm, multiple racks for consumables and a heated holder for a reagent vial. The robotic arm is equipped with a conical receiver for a tip of an air-displacement pipette, which is connected via a tube to a 50 ml syringe pump with a motorised plunger and automatic oil re-filling. The entire unit is housed in a laminar flow hood providing a sterile atmosphere and is controlled by a personal computer.

Different harvesting tools mounted on a robotic arm enable the scientist to select the colony or even single cell of interest. The cell colony that has been harvested is automatically brought to a destination dish and can be cultured or used for further analysis.


For the identification of target cells within a mosaic structure or a cell suspension it is useful to apply immunochemical stainings. It is crucial to limit the time of excitation light emission in order to avoid bleaching or phototoxic effects, like the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These effects can be limited by only short-time excitation and instant recording of the signals. Since the positions of the entire target cell population is saved in the software both optical and position information can be added for the isolation with the CellCelector.

With the Automatic Fluorescence Unit connected to the CellCelector it is possible to screen the cell population for several fluorochromes (e.g. DAPI and Oct4). The fluorescence filter selection allows for the individual setting of up to 3 immision and 6 different excitation filters.