New Neurite Outgrowth Assay for Livecyte

Phase image of differentiated SH-SY5Y cells with Livecyte Analyse skeletonization

Sheffield, UK – Phasefocus is breaking new ground in life science innovation with the development of its latest product, the Neurite Outgrowth assay, launching on the 14th December 2023. This pioneering new assay will aid researchers in both developmental studies investigating processes involved in the initial organisation of neuronal networks as well as the study of neuronal pathologies, such as degenerative diseases or neurotoxicity. Through the advantages of high contrast time-lapse imaging, Livecyte addresses key challenges to researchers in accurately identifying neurites to give robustness to neurite detection and provides novel insights into the lead up of network formation, meaning you never miss a key cell event.

Neuronal cells are notorious for their sensitivity to environmental factors such as light, mechanical, and chemical stimuli, which can impact cell viability and behaviour. Current imaging techniques rely on fluorescence imaging, risking phototoxicity and the interference of fluorophores which presents a large problem for performing timelapse imaging. Livecyte brings a non-invasive way of imaging sensitive cells long-term, offering unparalleled insights into direct understanding of network formation.

Livecyte revolutionises neurite outgrowth assays by producing high contrast, label-free Quantitative Phase Images (QPI) that can be automatically analysed to track cell bodies, and neurite characteristics (e.g. length and branching) during the development of an in vitro network. This enables researchers to quickly obtain metrics on their neurite outgrowth assays, without the requirement of costly fluorescent reagents which can impact the behaviour of their cells or by laborious manual analysis. By segmenting and tracking cells alongside a unique skeleton profile, Livecyte automatically quantifies neurite outgrowth metrics per cell and enables the tracking of cellular migration and organisation of cells during initial network formation, revealing trends that would have been overlooked by looking solely at population-based metrics. This cutting-edge technology leads to an increase in the physiological relevance of data collected more accurately recapitulating in vivo neuronal cell behaviour in vitro and ultimately improving drug development efficiency.

Livecyte Analyse Neuronal Dashboard brings together a whole host of metrics pertaining to neurite length and branching.

Based on this vast array of data, Livecyte’s Neuronal Dashboard view compiles an extensive suite of metrics. These give researchers a multifaceted understanding of the extent of neurite formation and can pick up on subtle population differences to how altered cellular environments may affect this.

Key Advantages of Livecyte Neurite Outgrowth Assay:

  • Automated, accurate neurite detection label-free:  Livecyte employs advanced algorithms to automatically segment and skeletonise neuronal cells allowing streamlined network measurement.
  • The Neuronal cell dashboard presents a wealth of metrics based on neurite characteristics, offering an invaluable depth of insight into the effect of mediators on neurite outgrowth.
  • Livecyte’s ability to independently quantify neurite growth on a per cell basis eliminates any seeding density dependant differences and providing a more profound understanding of neuronal cell behaviour.
  • Single-cell analysis of migration and morphology metrics alongside neurite outgrowth provides a more comprehensive way of understanding early neuronal cell behaviour.
  • All this is achieved without the need to fluorescently labels neuronal cells which alter their natural behaviour.

With the Livecyte Neurite Outgrowth Assay, researchers can follow neuronal outgrowth more closely than ever before, determining the level and nature of differentiation of cells and unlocking new potential for therapies.

About Phasefocus:

Phasefocus is changing what is possible in live cell assays, helping scientists uncover subtle differences in cell behaviour across whole cell populations. The company’s products are based on a patented and award-winning computational imaging technology, called ptychography.

From automated characterisation of live cell behaviour, to world-record-setting electron microscopy, Phasefocus is enabling advances in many diverse areas of scientific research.

Livecyte, Phasefocus’s flagship product, delivers an unprecedented level of singlecell data from live cells. High-contrast label-free imaging, correlative fluorescence and powerful automated image analysis algorithms result in high-content time-lapse outputs from standard 96-well plate assays.

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