The Phasefocus Livecyte Kinetic Cytometer

The Livecyte kinetic cytometer produces exceptionally high contrast time-lapse videos using Phasefocus’s patented Ptychographic Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) technology for a range of label-free assays with or without up to seven channels of complementary fluorescence.

Automated single-cell tracking of even the most sensitive cells quickly reveals subtle phenotypic differences in unperturbed cell populations.

Easy-to-use dashboards present coherent and concise results from up to 96 wells at a time whilst retaining the ability to investigate individual cell behaviour and outlying characteristics.

Livecyte Kinetic Cytometer Applications 

Explore the tabs below to learn more about the various Livecyte applications including videos, application notes and more. 

Cell Growth and Proliferation

  • Livecyte measures individual cell growth independently from proliferation
  • Cell growth is more complex than just cells multiplying
  • They can increase in size without dividing, they can divide asymmetrically, they can grow to a certain size then stop. All these aspects of cell growth are lost with most live cell assays. Not with Livecyte

Wound Healing

  • Directly measure cell motility with individual cells
  • Separate out migration from proliferation in a single experiment
  • Observe differences between leading edge and following cells
  • Correlate motility to morphological differences

Read the Application Note 'Single Cell Scratch Assay' from Phasefocus here.

Cell Motility

  • Livecyte automatically tracks cells, even in a 96-well plate
  • Just seed your cells, monitor with Livecyte and a full range of cell migration parameters will be generated
  • Compare the speed, directionality, confinement and heterogeneity of different populations


  • Directly measure mitotic time with individual cells
  • Measure random and chemotactic migration
  • Identify and characterise differences in subpopulations in heterogenous primary cultures
  • Correlate motility to morphological differences
  • Generate statistically valid results from multiple repeats in 96-wells

Application notes


  • True label-free cell count, not just confluence
  • Monitor dry mass to automatically determine viability and cell death
  • Statistically robust results from multiple repeats in 96-well plates
  • Generate label-free dose-response curves
  • Identify dynamic toxic responses missed by other methods

Application notes


  • Label-free timelapse tube formation assays
  • High-resolution large fields-of-view with no stitching
  • Perform assays on Matrigel and standard plates
  • Automated post-acquisition focus ensures consistent image quality for every well
  • Simple, yet powerful analysis of tube formation metrics with Application Dashboard outputs

Stem Cells

  • Identify morphological phenotypes
  • Watch and quantify cell differentiation
  • Monitor stem cell populations, for many days, without perturbing cell behaviour
  • Image through plastic and coated plates
  • Image on extracellular matrices
  • Cells are still viable after imaging

Livecyte Kinetic Cytometer Videos

Livecyte: Multiple Assays In Every Experiment

See how Livecyte maximises every experiment, saving time and conserving precious cells.

This short 80-second video illustrates how proliferation, morphology and motility metrics are automatically generated and compared, down to single-cell level, in every Livecyte assay.

Livecyte: Fluorescence Gating

Want to analyse mixed cell populations and co-cultures?

This short 90-second video shows how Livecyte combines both label-free and fluorescence imaging to easily identify distinct sub-populations of cells and compare behaviour within mixed populations, by gating on fluorescence labels.

Livecyte: Explore new cell relationships

Go from plate, to population, to individual cell using the "Explore" functionality, where intuitive visual data representations will let you interrogate your cells, gate sub-populations and investigate the links between data-points and images.

Livecyte: Long Term - Large field of view (FOV)

With Livecyte, track your cells for periods of days or weeks, without the need for image stitching to track every cell through its lifecycle.

Phasefocus Livecyte existing customers 

Click on the tabs below to find out more about our customers, and how they are using the Phasefocus Livecyte in their laboratories.

Francis Crick Institute, UK

Dr. Eleonora Ottina and the team at the Francis Crick Institute have used the Phasefocus Livecyte Kinetic Cytometer to identify a new role of the ubiquitin ligase HECTD2 in the cellular proliferation of melanoma cells, which has been suggested as controlling inflammation and immunity in melanoma patients. Ottina et al. studied the gene-expression profile of melanoma patients and discovered several cell cycle genes associated with HECTD2 expression, which were upregulated.


Texas Tech University, USA

The Phasefocus Livecyte kinetic cytometer has been installed at Texas Tech University’s core imaging facility at the Amarillo Research Building. Dr. Constantinos Mikelis, Adjunct Associate Professor, and Dr. Ulrich Bickel, Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, have been using the Livecyte in cancer and vascular research in pharmaceutical sciences. They’ve shared their thoughts in Phasefocus’ most recent video.


Huntsman Cancer Institute, USA

Using Livecyte’s high-content imaging and cell analysis in the study of melanocytes

The Phasefocus Livecyte Kinetic Cytometer has been used by Dr. Robert Judson-Torres’s research group at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Utah. Working in collaboration with McNeal et al. from the University of California, they investigated how melanocyte cells switch from stable nevus cells to cancerous melanoma cells, and how previously benign melanomas may re-exhibit growth after cell cycle arrest.

Ptychographic Quantitative Phase Imaging

The Huntsman Cancer Institute had very specific requirements that conventional imaging could not fulfill. Because Livecyte uses patented Ptychographic Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI), it allows the collection of high-contrast, label-free images where pixel intensity is directly proportional to cell dry mass. This enabled robust cell segmentation and tracking that lead to accurate single-cell measurements of proliferation.

Fluorescent imaging

As well as QPI, Livecyte also allows low-intensity fluorescent imaging that can be taken intermittently and correlated to the phase image. This reduced the levels of phototoxicity that commonly occurs during fluorescent imaging and enabled the cells to grow with minimal disturbance.

St George’s University of London

Greg Perry is Image Resource Facility Microscopy Manager at St George’s University of London, where a Phasefocus Livecyte was installed earlier this year. The Livecyte Kinetic Cytometer uses patented Ptychographic Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) technology for a range of label-free assays.


Peter O'Toole, University of York

Application Area: Scratch wound assays, co-culture studies, toxicity assays and more on the core facility

Peter said: "For large population, prolonged time lapse single cell imaging, it is perfect.

"As a core facility instrument, it is being used nearly non-stop by many different groups. The instrument is saturated and giving great reproducible, novel and exciting results."

Gareth Kitchen, University of Manchester

Application Area: Live cell migration and morphology analysis

Gareth said: "Excellent equipment with support staff that are second to none. Excellent all in one migration and morphology acquisition and analysis solution."

Maria Augusta Arruda, University of Nottingham

Application Area: Pharmacology, Cell Physiology, Angiogenesis

Maria said: "Livecyte: A fantastic imaging platform supported by superb customer service.

"It has been a delight working alongside the PhaseFocus team, who are all very dedicated and knowledgeable. From the pre-purchase phase, when they were genuinely interested in understanding our requirements in assessing complex events like tube formation (angiogenesis) in real time. We have since worked closely together on the development of this and other assays, and they have gone above and beyond to address some complicated issues that are allowing us to get some exquisite and enlightening results."

Viviane Mignone, University of Nottingham

Application Area: Endothelial cell biology and angiogenesis applied to drug discovery

Viviane said: "The Livecyte is excellent for accessing cell behavior analysis and quantification. "We have been working with the Livecyte system for the past 10 months in order to access endothelial cell survival, proliferation and angiogenesis. The cells we use as a model are really sensible to fluorescent labeling, and we had different outcomes when the assays were performed with labeled cells. So the fact that we have high quality image and processing without the need of cell labeling and in a high content way it is a great advantage of the system for us. In the beginning we had problems related to the stability of the software which have been sorted out by the company and with each improvement of the software we are experiencing fewer and fewer issues. Each and every time we've contacted the company due to these issues or other matters related to the system, we had support readily and promptly."

Mat Hardman, University of Hull

Application Area: Cell cytometry, wound healing

Mat said: "Outstanding system, amazing outputs and first-class customer support. "We have been using the Livecyte system for around 7 months now and I'm continually impressed by the quality of data we can generate. There is nothing out there that can do what the Livecyte does. Label-free cell imaging, simultaneous segmentation and tracking of many hundreds of cells, powerful analysis and multi-parameter gating of cell behavior. The system is simple to use and you can easily generate high quality data with little training. For the super-user there are huge array of analysis possibilities that allow you to ask questions that no other system can answer."

Sandrine Roy, Translational Research Institute

Application Area: Live cell imaging

Sandrine said: "The Phasefocus Livecyte was brought into our multi-user microscopy facility in November 2017. I have not seen such a rapid uptake of a totally new technology in the facility before. The Livecyte is extremely easy to use, the analysis wizard is very intuitive and results generated have been fantastic. the assays available are versatile and the Phasefocus team support is second to none. We are the first to bring this instrument to Australia. This could have been a risk, as the Phasefocus base is so far from us, but we have not suffered in the least, with support being prompt and effective. The Phasefocus team is also very responsive in designing new assays for us, which is invaluable in a research environment. I would strongly recommend this instrument to anyone wishing to do label-free live cell imaging."


Application Notes

  • Application Note Phenotypic Profiling Of Fission Yeast - A Model Organism

    Download (2 MB)

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