The AutoComet is an automatic comet assay system designed and built by TriTek Corp. This high-throughput system is optimized for unattended collection and snapshot analysis of Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis (SCGE) data. The system steps to each sample area, locates single cells, measures each cell, and records the results automatically. A unique LightTight™ hardware design coupled with a high-sensitivity digital camera extends comet emission lifetime while auto-segmentation and auto-scoring algorithms increase statistical reliability of the assay. The AutoComet improves statistical confidence over manual systems by reducing fluorophore fading, doubling camera resolution, acquiring larger sample sizes in less time, and objectively determining head position. Well statistics are computed automatically, yielding a comprehensive picture of the experiment that includes means and standard deviations in an at-a-glance format.


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The workstation consists of a state-of-the-art microscope, precision motorized stage, motorized sub-micron resolution focus, cold-light epifluorescence illumination system, high-sensitivity digital video imaging system and a current generation personal computer with TriTek-developed hardware interface, image processing algorithms, and database software. The robotic microscope is contained within a 15" wide x 17" deep x 15" high enclosure with a darkened interior to preserve the intensity of the fluorescing cells. The system employs a minimized intensity illumination source coupled with an optimized lens solution to maximize the time a cell can be observed without a loss in detail due to light-induced fluorescence quenching. Increased camera sensitivity provides the capability to maximize the acquisition of fluorescence from a cell to improve confidence in the metrics. To preserve fluorophore performance, illumination is removed automatically when cells are not being imaged.

Key Features

  • High-resolution, high-sensitivity digital camera that improves metrics with twice the resolution of typical analog cameras
     
  • Unattended high-throughput data acquisition with auto-segmentation and auto-scoring (~3000 comets/hr)
     
  • Barcode printing and tracking for hotel inventory and database
     
  • Distribution histogram for analysis
     
  • ColorMetric™ scoring that displays comets as 1, 2, 3 standard deviations from the mean
     
  • Auto-segmentation and auto-scoring of comets
     
  • Browser-based data analysis for multi-user cross-platform usability
     
  • Multi-user database that holds project and experiment informatics as well as comet metrics
     
  • Experiment overview showing mean and standard deviation of each well
     
  • Full compatibility with Trevigen® products
     
  • Increased statistical reliability due to high-throughput acquisition
     
  • Statistical analysis coupled with industry-accepted equations
     
  • Unique Light-Tight™ design that allows user to work in any room lighting
     
  • Data export to spreadsheet format

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