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Live-cell imaging
in automated
laboratory systems

Laboratory automation is becoming a new reality in scientific research, due to the rapid technological advancement and the numerous benefits offered by this strategy. More reproducible and reliable results, increased productivity, elimination of repetitive and tiresome manual labor – these are only a few examples of the advantages of lab automation. The applications of lab automation range from analytical chemistry and drug discovery to cell-based assays and cell line development. One of the key features of a successful lab automation system is openness to customization and flexibility. This can be mediated via an application programming interface (API) that can be connected to the laboratory automation system (LAS) leading to the secure exchange of data and functionality between multiple devices and application software. In case of an Open API, also called public API, the interface is shared and open to public use, and also available for user adaptation.

The upgraded CytoSMART devices with Python™- based open API have the flexibility to contribute to partial or total laboratory automation. The CytoSMART Lux Open API facilitates the known functionalities of the CytoSMART Lux2 and Lux3 FL devices, allowing them to become integrated into the wider lab automation systems. No longer limited by the operator-dependency of the graphical user interface, you are now able to control the devices in a much more streamlined way that doesn’t require user presence for commencing/stopping an experiment. Incorporating a live-cell imaging module into an automated workflow can further increase the reproducibility and efficiency of a scientific study.

Lab auto target audience
Who can benefit from using the CytoSMART Open API?

Successful implementation of a lab automation system can improve workflow of any laboratory. The CytoSMART Lux Open API can be especially beneficial for large research groups and organizations with high-throughput research that adhere to strict and optimized protocols and that have already incorporated the components of the lab automation system into their laboratory set up, including:

  • Large academic laboratories
  • High-risk research facilities (BSL-3/4)
  • Pharmaceutical and biotech companies

Completely automated live-cell imaging and analysis

The imaging and monitoring of cell cultures using the CytoSMART devices is already an automated process, with the only manual activity being the starting and ending of an experiment. However, with the CytoSMART Lux Open API, the processes of starting and stopping the experiment can also be automated via the integration of the devices into the lab automation system. The CytoSMART AI-powered image analysis software further facilitates the functionality of the automated system by quantifying decision-making parameters during the experiment (e.g. cell confluence).

Flexibility in lab automation systems

Lab automation pipetting

As opposed to a closed API, which seriously limits the interaction of a device with other laboratory equipment and systems, the CytoSMART Lux Open API gives you freedom and flexibility to adapt the control of the CytoSMART Lux2 or Lux3 FL to your lab automation system and application. Integrating the device into your automated workflow is as easy as it gets. Coupled with a robotic arm, pipetting robot and/or automated incubator, the CytoSMART devices contribute towards scalable and reproducible cell-based assays. In addition, if you have the CytoSMART Lux2 / Lux 3 FL Duo Kit or the Multi Lux2 / Lux3 FL, the open API can be used for automating multiple devices in the kit as well.

Incorporation of the CytoSMART devices into lab automation systems

lab automation_robot

The incorporation of the CytoSMART devices via the Open API into an automated laboratory set up has already been tested. Here, the robot collects a well-plate from the incubator and places it on the CytoSMART Lux3 FL, which determines the cell confluence via the automated image analysis. When the confluence exceeds a certain value, the robot moves the well-plate to the automated biological safety cabinet to passage the cells. Otherwise, the well-plate is placed back into the incubator.

Contributing partners:

  • Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd
  • Astech Projects Ltd
  • UniteLabs
  • iGripper
  • SiLA

Frequently Asked Questions

The CytoSMART Lux Open API is the introduction of a new system to control the functionality of the CytoSMART Lux2 and Lux3 FL devices, allowing them to become integrated into the wider laboratory automation system(s). Previously, users could operate the devices via the graphical user interface (GUI). Now, the device software can be also controlled via Python-based open application programming interface (API).

Yes, the API can be adapted and customized to your laboratory automation system(s) and numerous applications. If you need more information about the integration of the CytoSMART devices into you lab automation system, contact the CytoSMART customer support team.

The CytoSMART Lux Open API can be accessed via the software development platform, GitHub. The CytoSMART Lux Open API is free for public use.

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