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Agilent unveils combination real-time cell imager and analyzer following ACEA acquisition

red blood cells
Agilent took on the xCELLigence technology through its $250 million acquisition of ACEA Biosciences last September. (Pixabay / Geralt)

Agilent Technologies has launched a new analyzer for research work that allows scientists to observe cell behavior and movement in real time while also collecting detailed biosensor information.

The xCELLigence RTCA eSight combines cell imaging with hardware for tracking metrics such as proliferation, differentiation and changes in morphology when exposed to different treatments, and automatically monitors developments over minutes, hours or days.

“With one experiment, scientists can now get two vantage points into cell health and their responses to a variety of chemical or biological manipulations, giving them greater confidence in the data they collect,” Todd Christian, VP and general manager of the company’s cell analysis division, said in a statement.

Agilent acquired the xCELLigence biosensor technology through its purchase of cell analyzer manufacturer ACEA Biosciences last September, through a $250 million cash deal.

The San Diego-based ACEA also brought along its customizable line of NovoCyte benchtop flow cytometers—as well as a CE-marked clinical configuration that is also approved in China—which Agilent hoped to pair up with its reagents business aimed at flow cytometry. Both of ACEA’s instrument lines are used in academia and industry, from basic drug discovery and preclinical research to clinical diagnostics and disease studies.

“We share the same passion around the need for and innovation of live-cell, kinetic and label-free approaches to cell analysis extending beyond traditional end-point measurements,” Christian said at the time. “Together, we will be able to offer a more comprehensive and compelling product portfolio to our collective customers.”

The new eSight real-time cell analyzer is designed to read a 96-well plate in 15 seconds, across several formats, while supporting three fluorescence channels and an array of reporter reagents. It also allows for flexible scheduling, with a single setup procedure for parallel imaging and cell analysis.

“The eSight is the latest addition to Agilent’s cell analysis portfolio, exemplifying our commitment to popularizing live-cell, kinetic analysis in applications across a wide spectrum of research areas including cell biology, immunology, immuno-oncology, and immunotherapy,” said Xiaobo Wang, formerly president and chief technology officer of ACEA, who joined Agilent to be general manager of its flow cytometry and real-time cell analysis business.