Nanolive’s 3D Cell Explorer enables accurate and quantitative 4D spatio-temporal monitoring of bacteria cultures.

It allows you to:

  • Monitor several E.coli bacteria colonies growing into 3D systems stain-free (e.g. alginate beads). 
  • Monitor the volume of a single bacterium or of a growing bacteria colony
  • Image and discriminate multi-layers of bacteria totally stain-free

Bacteria are tiny, single-cell microorganisms, usually just a few micrometers in length. They may have different shapes, generally spherical (cocci), rod shaped (bacilli) or spiral. Although most bacteria are harmless, several are pathogenic and can cause life threatening diseases such as tuberculosis, tetanus and pneumonia. Other bacteria are instead beneficial and live in symbiosis with other organisms. A typical example is the gut flora. It consists of a complex community of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of animals and insects, assisting in digestion. 

Nanolive’s new technology, the 3D Cell Explorer, allows you to observe Bacteria as they are, alive and in real-time without the need of chemicals to stain them. 

E.coli embedded in alginate beads

E.coli bacteria embedded in alginate beads (generated by Encapsulation Unit – Var J30, 40-70 microns diameter). The beads were mounted on a slide into Minimum Media (MM) diluted 1:4 with distilled water (plus 1% v/v Fumarate 100mM) . The time-lapse imaging experiment was conducted with a standard top-stage incubator set to 37°C and 90% humidity for 3 hours, capturing images every 10 minutes.

Image courtesy of prof. Van Der Meer Jan Roelof (Département de microbiologie fondamentale, UNIL, Lausanne, Switzerland).


 E. coli in multi-layer

E.coli bacteria (grown overnight in LB medium) were centrifuged (8000g for 20 minutes) in a tube. The pellet was split between a microscopy slide and the coverslip creating a multi-level bacteria in PBS.


E. coli

E.coli cells were seeded in agar (˞80% confluency) on coverslips and mounted on a glass slide.


Image courtesy of Kchuang lab, Stanford University


Bee gut microbiota

Fixed (ethanol) and embedded in paraffin, Honey bee gut tissue was sectioned using a microtome (5 micrometer thickness). At the end the slides were deparaffinized (xylene and ethanol).  We observe the cells of the gut epithelial surface and the bacteria in the lumen. Multiple images were stitched together to obtain a 400x400 micrometers  view of the whole tissue section. 

We wish to thank Professor Philippe Engel and it’s research unit at the Department of Fundamental Microbiology from the University of Lausanne (CH), for the kind donation of the fixed bee gut sections used to produce this video.




 Bacteria and Yeast co-contamination 

Fixed (PFA 4%) HeLa cells stored at 4°C were contaminated by wild bacteria and yeast. 

Based on their specific Refractive Index (RI), our digital staining is able to discriminate the biological contaminants providing an automatic segmentation of the two different yeast strains on the culture. 



Learn more about the 3D Cell Explorer

Read more about the 3D Cell Explorer here and learn how to use it in 1 minute with this video


Discover all the secrets of the 3D Cell Explorer on our Introductory webinar

Learn how to digitally stain your cells with our software STEVE, in 1 minute

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