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  • Writer's pictureNanoEntek

Ch.5-1 Types of cell used for brightfield-based counter

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

In previous posts, we have provided a brief introduction to types of automated cell counter ( and appropriate types of dye solution to use (

So, it leaves us with the most frequently asked and important topic - types of cells that can be used for different cell counters.

Let’s quickly review the brighfield-based cell counter,

a brightfield-based automated cell counter quantifies cells by staining only the dead cells using trypan blue staining dye. This solution penetrates and stains the entire inner part of the cell as these dead cells have broken cell membrane (the most outer layer of cell).

[Brightfield sample]

Considering the staining mechanism, a brightfield cell counter cannot be used to count cell sample containing debris and other waste. When using trypan blue, it not only stains cells but also other substances and possibly count them as dead cells, which causes inaccuracy in results. Thus, it is important to use relatively debris-free cell samples. With this limitation, most commonly used samples for brightfield are cell lines.

Simply put, cell lines are population of cells that have been subcultured from primary cells and kept to maintain in the same condition under constant subculturization. Thus, no debris or waste is present, which makes cell counting using a brightfield-based counter much easier and accurate.



- Easy to use

- Cost effective

- Unlimited supply of materials with same conditions

- Debris-free cell samples

- Useful for laboratory experiments requiring large quantity of samples such as vaccine production

- Possibility of expressing unique or unexpected gene patterns

Commonly used cell lines:

- HeLa cells : the first immortal human cell line

- HEK 293 : human embryonic kidney-derived epithelial cells

- CHO (Chinese hamster ovary) cells

- Jurkat : human lymphoblast cells

- SF9 : pupal ovarian tissue cells from fall armyworm

NanoEntek Brightfield-based Cell Counter

An automated cell counter

Analysis time

< 20 seconds


Trypan blue

Cell type

Cell lines

Measuring range

1x10E4 to 1x10E7 cells/mL

The world's fastest automated cell counter

Analysis time

<1 second (manual focus)

<10 seconds (auto focus)


Trypan blue

Cell type

Cell lines

Measuring range

1x10E4 to 2x10E7 cells/mL

A high-throughput automated cell counter

Analysis time

3 minutes / 48 tests


Trypan blue

Cell size range

Detectable: 1-85 μm

Optimal: 5-80 μm

Measuring range

Detectable: 1x10E4 to 2x10E7 cells/mL

Optimal: 1x10E5 to 1x10E7 cells/mL


1. Kaur, Gurvinder, and Jannette M Dufour. “Cell Lines: Valuable Tools or Useless Artifacts.” Spermatogenesis, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 2012,

2. “Immortalised Cell Line.” Immortalised Cell Line - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics,


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