Cell Picker

Cell Picker

Junrui Yang, Xiaoqing Lv, Yongfan Men

Jan 2014    

Cell Picker is an automated high throughput cell filtering system. Utilizing motorized microscope and pump, with the help of digital camera and computer vision, Cell Picker is able to speed up the selection of a few cells in 107 from weeks to hours.

Being able to select few cells in many cells are alway playing an important role in advanced research in life science. It can be used in early screening in cancer and infant genetics test. However, this is always an error-prone, time consuming, tiresome process for researchers. Cell Picker proposed an innovation solution to the problem. Using automated lab equipment, cell picker greatly simplify the selection process and offload the replicate process to the machine.

Cell picker is made of a fully automated microscope, a motorized microscope platform, a micro manipulator with nano pipette and an electronic pump. A software I made control them to perform the desired task and show user an interaction interface.

Cell picker use a 2 step procedure with computer assistance to greatly speed up the process:

  1. 1) Cell Picker automatically dispense the diluted sample across a 384 well board. 2) Cell Picker take photo of each cells with user-defined fluorescence filters and display the result on an application, with suggestion of which one might contain cell. 3) Experimenter select the cell, collect the sample and place it on an in-house special made glass slide, with micrometer-sized wells.

  2. 4) Cell Picker wait cell to fall into wells and take pictures covers the whole slide with user-defined fluorescence filters, tile it and present it to the use. 5) Experimenter select the well that contains the cells contain cells. 6) Cell Picker collect all sample in the designated wells.

By adapting the procedure, cell picker greatly reduce time to select cell by first filter out most cells in the first procedure, and even less time is required for the experimenter. With the computer assistance, the experiment have higher accuracy and repeatability.