Cell Tester 200

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Perform muscle physiology tests on single, isolated, living cells

  • Fits ANY inverted microscope
  • Unique rotational stage–improves the experimental throughput
  • Two integral piezo manipulators included
  • Data Recording and Analysis included

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Cell Tester 200Benefits

  • Simultaneous use of the multi-purpose biofluorometer* (SI-BF-100) for tissue fluorescence (calcium, NOx, ROS)
  • For use with single living cells, small multi-cellular preparations or skinned muscle fibers*
  • Stimulate and perform perturbations of cells
  • Options available for customization of the system


  • Stretching and relaxation of cells with nanometer resolution
  • Classic cross bridge cycling studies in cardiac tissue
  • Single skeletal muscle fiber axial stretch and isometric force
    Cardiomyocyte axial stretch and length tension curve
  • Intracellular calcium concentration/distribution in single isolated cells as muscle force is measured
  • ATPase activity in single isolated cells as muscle force is measured

The SI-CTS200 system is a revolutionary new research tool for studying single living cells. This system, which is the result of blending the latest technologies in electronics, mechanics and optics, permits researchers to investigate living systems at a new level of observation. The Cell Tester provides researchers with the comprehensive ability to investigate and characterize the physiological, biomechanical and biophysical properties of single isolated living cells.

Study single cells, multi-cellular or skinned fibers

The SI-CTS200 systems can be used on single living cells, small multi-cellular preparations or skinned muscle fibers or strips. It is designed to sit on the stage of any standard, research-level, inverted microscope while maintaining the optical path of the microscope for simultaneous fluorescence or confocal imaging.

Stimulate and perform perturbations of cells

The Cell Tester is an integrated system of components needed to maintain and handle single living cells, stimulate and perform pertubations of the cells, and detect, amplify, and record signals, like contractile force.

Customize your system with options

  • Optical force transducer for measuring with nN sensitivity and integrated cell attachment system.
  • Equipped with a nanomotor for stretching and relaxing cells with nm resolution.
  • A rotating cuvette system for easy alignment of cells increases productivity. It is designed to orient cells in the XY plane so that no physical manipulation of the position of the cell itself is required.
  • Interchangeable bath inserts provide a range of options for the handling of live cells.
  • LabTrax 8/16 data acquisition system with MDAC software records and control your experiments, using up to eight analog inputs.
  • Biofluorometer






The heart of the system is a tuned and paired combination of a linear actuator offering nanometer (nm) precision and a force transducer with nano Newton (nN) sensitivity. Each element (actuator and sensor) is equipped with a remote controlled micro grabber that allows tissues to be held firmly. 

Force Transducer

KG-series force transducers measure a large range of detectable forces. The transducer with the highest sensitivity (20nN) is sufficient to measure the force of a single heart cell. Because all transducers are extraordinarily rugged, withstanding even overload forces, they come with a lifetime warranty on the optical transducer heads.

Rotating Cuvette


The complete system utilizes a unique rotating bath to dramatically improve experimental throughput. The rotating bath is designed to orient cells in the XY plane so that no physical manipulation of the position of the cell itself is required prior to capture by the grabbing devices attached to the force sensor and linear actuator. This bath has two interchangeable inserts. The first holds any 35mm glass bottom dish (WPI #FD35-100).


WSignal Conditioning Amplifier System PI's Signal Conditioning Amplifier System is a customizable electronic platform. It consists of an 8-channel, rack-mountable frame with an ultra quiet, shielded power supply. For the Cell Tester, it includes the Nanomotor position controller, the SI-BAM21LCB amplifier, the SI-AOSUB anti-oscillation unit and the SI-STCM2 2-channel temperature control module.

The Cell Tester nanomotor and force transducer are extremely sensitive. The position controller is used to open and close the micro grabbers on both devices, and to control the movement of the nanomotor used to stretch or release the cell or fiber held by the micro grabber.

The SI-BAM21-LCB KG Optical Force Transducer Amplifier powers the force transducer and outputs an analog voltage proportional to the force applied to the force transducer. The force feedback signal can be multiplied by a factor of 1, 2, 5 or 10 to provide better resolution for a minimal change in applied force.

The anti-oscillation option eliminates the native resonance frequency of the transducer and mounting support for unparalleled low noise recording and fidelity.

When temperature control is required, the SI-TCM2 is used. One channel powers the cuvetter heater, and the other simultaneously powers an optional, inline solution heater. This module uses digital control to maintain a constant temperature. It has both high and low alarm warnings which can be user defined.

Maximum Power Consumption 1.3 A at 115 V 50/60 Hz, 1.8 A at 230 V 50/60 Hz
Base Dimensions 8.25 x 9" (21x23 cm)
SI-BAM21-LCB Specifications
Input Configuration Current to voltage converter
Gain 1X, 2X, 5X, 10X - Switch selectable
Output Impedance 470 Ω
Power Requirements 12 V DC at 3 A provided by the chassis
Output Range ±10 V DC
Position Controller Specifications
Power Requirements 12 V DC provided by the chassis
Position In Range  ±10 V, IV = 104 µm
Position Out Range ±10 V, IV = 104 µm
SI-AOSUB Specifications
Power 12 V DC provided by the chassis
Input ­±10 V DC
SI-TCM2 2-Channel Temperature Controller
Input Configuration Current to voltage converter
Power Requirements 12 V DC at 2.5 A 50/60 Hz provided by the chassis
Operating Temperature Range Room Temperature
Display precision 0.1°C
Controller Resolutions 0.1°C
Cuvetter Temperature Sensor 1000 Ω RTD (1000 Ω at 0°C)
NAMO Nanomotor Specifications
Total Travel ±90 μm
Resolution 20 nm
Smallest Step 60 nm
Input  ±10 V (calibrated at 10 μm/V)
97204 Pulser Sepcifications
Time Resolution 7 ms
Pulser Output  0–10 V DC adjustable
Damping Frequency Range, 85Hz–1.0KHz 85Hz–1.0 KHz 
Output Range ­±10 V
Cell Tester Platform
Distance from bottom of the base plate to the bottom of glass 0.508 mm

Benjamin L. Prosser, Christopher W. Ward, "Mechano-Chemo Transduction Tunes the Heartstrings," Sci. Signal., 18 March 2014, Vol. 7, Issue 317, p. pe7, [DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005214].

Ramzi J. Khairallah, Guoli Shi, Francesca Sbrana, Benjamin L.Prosser, Carlos Borroto, Mark J. Mazaitis, Eric P. Hoffman, Anup Mahurkar, Fredrick Sachs, Yezhou Sun, Yi-Wen Chen, Roberto Raiteri, W. Jonathan Lederer, Susan G. Dorsey and Christopher W. Ward (August 7, 2012), Microtubules Underlie Dysfunction in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy," Science Signaling 5 (236), ra56. [doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2002829].

Prosser BL, Ward CW, Lederer WJ. "X-ROS signaling: rapid mechano-chemo transduction in heart" (Science). 2011 Sep 9; 333(6048):1440-5. [PMID:21903813]

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