Each inncelly® experimentation chamber comprises a base plate with lid, which together form the main incubation chamber, and a stamp plate. A glass cover slip is inserted into the base plate to seal off the bottom wholes and to carry the nutrient medium. Upon solidification of the nutrient medium the organism(s) of interest, for instance filamentous fungi or plant seedlings, are inoculated on top. The lid guarantees aerated yet contamination-free incubation. To retrieve the sample from the chamber, the base plate is gently lowered onto the stamp plate to push up the cover slip/culture ensemble. The ensemble is then directly placed onto the microscope stage. For imaging on inverted microscopes, a second cover slip of the same size can be gently placed on top of the culture and the glass/culture/glass sandwich is placed up-side-down onto the microscope stage. inncelly® sample holder make the transfer process even more convenient, increase bio-safety and decrease risk of contamination during transfer.
The inncelly® design principle is explained here.
Application examples are published here, starting on page 46.
The usual pre-cultivation of microorganisms takes place on agar nutrient medium in standard Petri dishes made of disposable polystyrene (PS). The preparation of filamentous fungi for live-cell microscopy often requires a 2 - 4 cm² large section of the colony to be excised with a scalpel and invert onto a glass cover slip. While this method allows excellent microscopic quality, it has a number of key disadvantages. The cut injury and the mechanical stress during placement of the sample onto the cover slip generate significant cell stress. Furthermore, the natural organization of the colony network (mycelium) is destroyed and unifluenced reactions of an intact colony can no longer be examined. Due to its relatively small size, the sample starts to dry out quickly after more than approximatly two hours on the microscope leading to focal shifts. Consequently, the sample is lost and cannot be reused. Finally, the cultured colony from which the sample was taken also remains damaged and unwanted stress responses are likely triggered.
Stress-free sample preparation is essential for being able to examine naturally occuring cell biological processes, especially in cases where cellular stress responses are to be deliberately induced and observed.
inncelly® experimentation chambers reduce stress artefacts caused by sample preparation to a minimum and allow to observe biological specimens in their natural state over very long periods of time. The possibility to microscopically examine, then return the sample undamaged into incubation and examine again at a later time point can stretch the time window of observation of the same sample to up to 2 days (depending on the precise experimental settings).
It is important to us to customize our products to your individual needs. Hence, we offer a modular design and flexible purchasing option. Please contact us by email or phone to discuss your requirements and assemble a quote that is right for you. For a first orientation please consult the inncelly® price sheet.
After discussing your requirements, we develop a prototype CAD model of an adequat functional solution that we present and then discuss further. As soon as you are satisfied with the functional design we 3D print a prototype that we send to you for testing. You communicate back whether it works as intended or whether further improvements are required. Once this iterative optimisation process is completed you may commission production. Further details are explained in section XII.(2) of our General Terms and Conditions.
For simple print jobs, please provide CAD or GCode files along with detailed printing instructions for your object by email. For complicated print jobs, it is best to additionally talk through the desired printing details by phone or online chat. In any case it is your responsibility to ensure that you own copyrights and/or license rights for the reproduction and intended use of the object(s). Further details are explained in section XII.(8) of our General Terms and Conditions.
We currently operate filament deposition modeling (FDM) and colour jet printing (CJP) devices from Prusa Research, Picaso3D and 3D Systems, respectively. Through our academic and business partners, we have access to a variety of other state-of-the-art additive manufacturing methods, including the popular stereolithography (SL/SLA) and selective laser sintering (SLS) technologies.
Biocompatible, high-performance PLA-type biopolymers with exceptional chemical and thermal stability are our favourite materials for producing inncelly® experimentation chambers. These materials withstand desinfection with EtOH, Virkon and/or steam prior to experimentation. This allows to reuse each chamber several times and consequently reduces the amount of single-use lab plastic made from fossil resources. Nevertheless, when customer needs demand, essentially all 3D printing polymers (filaments, resins and powders) can be used for production.
We produce 3D CAD models from dimensioned handdrawings or simple 2D sketches and return them in your favourite file format(s) for further processing. We also evaluate provided 3D CAD models towards possible improvements with respect to 3D printing and/or intended lab use.
Instead of sending the newly developed prototypes directly to you, we run basic lab tests to identify functional flaws. Performing the first round of optimisation inhouse offers the advantage of completing the final product design sooner. The scope of such test is, of course, agreed upon beforehand and has to match to the capabilities of our molecular cell biology lab.
We are no industrial filament producer, but run desktop extruders for small scale fabrication of speciality filaments required for our products as well as for R&D purposes. We extend this service to our customers for the manufacturing of experimental filaments not available on the market.
We are always keen to connect with new academic and industry partners for collaborations and R&D projects. Please get in touch to explore mutual interests.
Lichius (2021). Inncelly Experimentation Chambers: A novel design for sample handling and live-cell imaging of biological interactions.
Moreno et al. (2021). Stress-activated protein kinase signalling regulates mycoparasitic hyphal-hyphal interactions in Trichoderma atroviride.
Lichius and Fricker (2022). New tools for quantifying cell interactions:
Stress-free sample handling for improved image analysis
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