The Phasefocus Livecyte® provides non-toxic phenotypic screening for live cells, enabling long-term time-lapse assays without the need for fluorescent labels. This is an important consideration for the screening of sensitive primary cells, and stem cells. Based on an imaging method known as ptychography, this label-free microscopy approach is particularly suitable for reporting cellular changes such as mitosis, apoptosis, and cell differentiation, for example.

The Phasefocus Virtual Lens provides an extremely versatile platform for time-lapse label-free imaging, with post-acquisition capabilities for the analysis of cell state and cell cycle.

Operation is fully-automated, but with options to tailor data acquisition protocols to suit user needs.

Key Features

  • Label-free and non-toxic: use of low laser power, thereby allowing users to perform long-term time-lapse assays on sensitive primary and stem cells that previously were only practicable with immortalized cell lines due to the need for labeling.
  • Flexible fields of view without loss in resolution: users can perform fully-automated high-resolution measurements on statistically significant numbers of cells, and over multiple fields of view, to produce flow cytometry-type measurements without removing cells from their culture medium.
  • Consistent outputs: no photo-bleaching effects during measurements or inconsistencies due to label variability result in better reproducibility of measurements.
  • Simple experiment workflow: users save time and reduce variability in results caused by complex experimental protocols associated with labeling, fixing and harvesting of cells.
  • Quantitative phase images: direct measurements of morphological changes in cells such as volume, thickness or dry mass, which enables previously impossible assays such as contraction of primary smooth muscle cells.
  • Robust cell tracking: Livecyte can automatically follow multiple cells individually, through multiple cell divisions, and compare multiple generations of cells to their ancestors.
  • Multiplexed data from analysis provide outputs equivalent to multiple assays without the need to repeat experiments, saving time and money.
  • Perfect focus: post-acquisition auto-focussing means that users will never suffer from focal drift issues during a time-lapse experiment again.
  • All cells in a time-lapse video may be analyzed independently and simultaneously.
  • The cells in the field of view of a time-lapse series may be colour-coded reflecting different states/stages.


  • Cell count, confluence,and proliferation, at multiple time-points, which allows simple yet robust cell population monitoring.
  • Toxicity, cell viability and apoptosis rate, which provides the kinetics of the cytotoxic response rather than just a snapshot like many colorimetric endpoint assays.
  • Mitotic index vs time, with measurements at multiple time-points which allow identification of changes in proliferation as a population evolves.
  • Morphology such as sphericity, nucleus-cytoplasm ratio, which highlight changes in cell behaviour such as formation of neuronal processes.
  • Cell motility, including scratch-wound assays, for robust measurement cell migration parameters.
  • Cell thickness, volume and dry mass.