Live-Cell Imaging

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At Charnwood Discovery we harness cutting edge technology to capture and analyze images of live cells in real-time to monitor phenotypic changes and generate greater insights into disease mechanisms and response to treatments. This technique produces kinetic data to visualize how cells react over long-term experiments, with a wide range of readouts and applications available.

From simple monitoring of cell confluency to investigating T-cell killing of cancer spheroids, live-cell imaging unlocks more in-depth analysis of a wide array of cellular functions. 

This technique can be applied to adherent and suspension cell lines, 2D and 3D cell culture, and fluorescent dyes can be utilised to probe for more specific changes in cell biochemistry, health and behaviour. Phenotypic assays facilitated by live-cell imaging can add value in any drug discovery cascade by developing a deeper understanding of cellular responses to therapeutic treatment (small molecules, biologics etc.) that may be otherwise overlooked in end-point assays.

Advanced algorithms are utilized to count cells in a label-free non-invasive environment.

Exact and Consistent

We utilize the IncuCyte SX5, a market leading instrument, for our live-cell imaging needs. 

This system leverages three objectives (4x, 10x and 20x) with up to three fluorescent channels and compatibility with a vast range of labware to provide greater flexibility and enable a wide range of applications.

The instrument is equipped with a suite of specialized analysis tools to ensure that the maximum amount of information is extracted, and that analysis is consistent between experiments. 

Live Cell Imaging

We have experience in the following live-cell imaging applications:

  • Cell health (proliferation, apoptosis and cytotoxicity)
  • Cell cycle analysis
  • 3D cell culture (spheroids and organoids)
  • Changes in cell morphology and differentiation
  • Angiogenesis
  • Neurite outgrowth
  • Chemotaxis
  • Scratch Wound recovery
  • Mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP)
  • Immune cell killing
  • Phagocytosis
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)

Spheroid formation (and eventual death and collapse) can be monitored using live-cell imaging.

Scratch wound healing captured over time with the IncuCyte SX5.


No activation

+ IL-2 and anti-CD3


Killing of 2D and 3D cancer cell culture by activated PBMCs. Red-labelled cancer cells are killed by PBMCs in the presence of IL-2 and anti-CD3 stimulus. Cell permeability visualised using a green dye.