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University of Colorado Denver

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High Throughput and High Content Screening Core Facility

HCS Assay Technologies



Operetta High-Content Imaging and Analysis System (Perkin Elmer)

The Operetta is a cutting-edge, second generation high content screening instrument. It can image live or fixed cells in plates with any well density. It is equipped with three objectives (10X High NA, 20X Long WD, 40X High NA), and excitation and emission filters for nearly any fluorescent label or combination of labels. Additional objectives and filters can be purchased from Perkin Elmer if a protocol requires them. Other features of the Operetta include:

  • Confocal optics: On-the-fly switchable between standard fluorescence and confocal modes for greater visual clarity within the focal plane
  • Brightfield (transmission) imaging
  • Live-cell chamber (CO2 and temperature controlled)
  • Sophisticated image analysis software: Harmony software for quantification of virtually any cellular, subcellular, or multicellular response.


Image Analysis Options: The Operetta instrument and Harmony software come with a number of pre-configured assays. Although adjustments need to made to any assay, these serve as excellent starting points for building any sort of customized analysis algorithm.

Pre-configured analysis methods include:

Cell Counting

Receptor Internalization

Live / Dead Cell Counting

DNA Content

Nuclear Shrinking

Nuclear Fragmentation

Marker Quantification in Nucleus /
Cytoplasm / Membrane

Cell Cycle Classification

Spot Analysis

Cell Shape – Cell Rounding

Translocation: Cyto-nuclear,
Cyto-membrane

Fluorescence Redistribution – Cytoskeleton

Mitotic Index

Phenotype Classification – Cytoskeleton

Nuclear Spots

Lipid Droplet Analysis

Nuclei Counting

Colony Formation

Neurite Outgrowth Analysis

Cell Migration

Texture Analysis

Micronucleus Analysis

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