Logo Università degli Studi di Milano

Department of



General Overview

The Advanced Technology Platform currently includes:

  1. ImageXpress Micro Confocal system for rapid and automated high content screening of biological samples in bright field and/or in fluorescence;
  2. SMARTer ICELL8 cx Single Cell System for high-throughput single-cell assays;
  3. Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer for quantification of real-time metabolic rates in minutes, without sample extraction or labeling.


1. ImageXpress Micro Confocal system

The high content imaging screening ImageXpress Micro Confocal system is an inverted fluorescence microscope dedicated to automated imaging and analysis. It is optimized for rapid and automated screening of biological samples 2D or 3D in bright field and/or in fluorescence. Images are captured either in widefield mode or using a confocal spinning disk. Despite ImageXpress Micro Confocal has been designed for high content screening, its high flexibility makes it suitable for routine cell biology applications, that require for example time-lapse live cell imaging under environmental control. The biological sample is indeed kept in a physiological environment within the imaging chamber, where temperature, C02 and oxygen can be regulated. The key feature of the device is an integrated robotic fluidic head, that automates assay workflows (e.g., compound addition, well washing or media exchange), enabling imaging of real time kinetics events. MetaXpress® software allows automated acquisition of publication quality images at high throughput, and it performs also quantitative multi-parametric data analysis in a high throughput environment.

3. SMARTer ICELL8 cx Single Cell System

The SMARTer ICELL8 cx Single-Cell system is a high-throughput single-cell automation system. It combines the power of imaging and dispensing for the unbiased isolation and selection of single cells in 5184-nanowell chips. The SMARTer ICELL8 cx platform allows parallel and rapid processing of up to eight unique samples, making it suitable for performing replicates ensuring cell viability throughout the cell isolation process. The system comes with integrated CellSelect Software that houses tools for instrument control, imaging, and cell selection. It analyzes well images and provides the ability to automatically or manually select wells to proceed with, in order to maximize the experimental efficiency by analyzing only cells of interest. The SMARTer ICELL cx Single-Cell system is prevalidated for use with several NGS applications, but it also provides the flexibility to enable users to develop their own applications of choice. 

3. Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer

Energy metabolism is a proven avenue to gain new insights into biological function in both health and disease. Agilent Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer provides information about the energy metabolism in cell biology processes, measuring the oxygen consumption rate (OCR) and extracellular acidification rate (ECAR) of live cells in a 24-well plate format. OCR and ECAR rates are key indicators of mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis as well as ATP production rate, and together these measurements provide a systems-level view of cellular metabolic function in cultured cells, ex-vivo samples and various model systems.  Wave software allows easy creation of assay protocols and data analysis on your desktop PC and exports to common spreadsheet and graphing programs.

Description of the services offered

The ImageXpress Micro Confocal, SMARTer ICELL8 cx and Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer are located at the Department of Biosciences. Their use is subject to different prices for external users or Department members. Please, feel free to reach us to discuss your project: services offered depends of the project goals.

Description of available equipment

1. ImageXpress Micro Confocal (Molecular Devices) connected to a Manual Gas Mixers (Okolab - 3GF-Mixer-Hypoxia). For additional information, please, contact: cristina.ruberti@unimi.it, alessandro.fantin@unimi.it, marco.muzifalconi@unimi.it

2. SMARTer ICell8 Single-Cell System (Takara), Agilent TapeStation 4150, Invitrogen Qubit4 Fluorimeter. For additional information, contact: cristina.ruberti@unimi.it, mantor@unimi.it, stefano.biffo@unimi.it, nicola.manfrini@unimi.it

3. Seahorse XFe24 Analyzer. For additional information, contact: cristina.ruberti@unimi.it, diletta.dolfini@unimi.it


For more information, please, contact: cristina.ruberti@unimi.it


Back to top