CytoTronics Reveals Pixel System to Monitor Live Cell Function at an Unprecedented Scale for Cell Biology Applications

BOSTON–()–CytoTronics, Inc., a pioneer of semiconductor-based platforms for discovery in cell biology, revealed its new Pixel™ system at the 2024 Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) international conference and exhibition in Boston, MA. The system represents the company’s first commercial product entry based on their breakthrough semiconductor-to-live-cell interface powered by microchips.

“The high-density electrode arrays on our Pixel plates are at the same scale as cells and produce high-dimensional data with spatial images and longitudinal videos”

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Pixel assesses live cell function at single-cell resolution, allowing scientists to simultaneously monitor cell viability, morphology, electrophysiology, metabolism, and more while generating electrical ‘images’ with single-cell spatial resolution. At each system’s core is the Pixel plate, a proprietary 96- or 384-well microplate embedded with custom-designed semiconductor microchips at the base of each well. Cells grow in culture media on top of a microarray containing over 100,000 nanoscale electrode-based sensors, allowing thousands of measurements to be taken per well, on any cell type or organoid system.

Contemporary tools offer a single readout modality and compromise between spatial resolution and throughput. Pixel delivers simultaneous multi-modal, high-resolution readouts in 96- or 384-well plates, enabling cell monitoring and data collection at unprecedented scale. The systems are designed for accessibility in academia, biotech, and pharma, with a starting list price of under $30K (USD) for a Pixel Primo.

“Since launching the company out of my research at Harvard University in 2021, we’ve assembled a unique team of engineers and scientists with expertise spanning from semiconductor transistors to wet-lab biology and data science,” said Jeffrey Abbott, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of CytoTronics. “Pixel marks our first commercial offering, one that will significantly impact scientists’ discoveries through accelerated data generation and live-cell insights. It’s widely applicable for in vitro cell biology applications including drug discovery, from target validation to toxicology screening.”

CytoTronics’ early-access program for Pixel Primo empowers cell biologists to unlock applications that were previously inaccessible. Customers receive a Pixel Primo, a single plate reader that can be placed into any cell culture incubator, 96-well Pixel plates, and Pixel Pro, a cloud-based control and interactive analysis software. The early-access program includes applications for endothelial and epithelial cells, cancer cell biology, mechanism of action/toxicology, stem cell biology, cardiac function, and neural function. More applications supporting additional scale will be available later in 2024 with the release of Pixel Octo, a dedicated benchtop incubator with an integrated 8-plate reader.

Pixel plates use the same semiconductor microchip technology that powers smartphones, computers, and other consumer electronics.

“The high-density electrode arrays on our Pixel plates are at the same scale as cells and produce high-dimensional data with spatial images and longitudinal videos,” stated Vince Wu, Ph.D., co-founder and CTO of CytoTronics. “The breadth and scale of information that can be obtained on the same cell culture is mind-blowing. Pairing that with the ability to scale, this technology lets scientists reimagine how cell biology can be done. Our Pixel plates and high-throughput Pixel Octo are automation-compatible, and can be integrated with most robotic and liquid handling platforms. Assays conducted with Pixel Primo can be scaled to multiple Pixel Octo systems running in parallel, screening tens of thousands of wells simultaneously.”

To learn more about Pixel, visit CytoTronics at SLAS2024 booth #839, and join Shalaka Chitale, CytoTronics’ Director of Biology, Wednesday February 7 at 1:30 PM ET for her presentation in the Spatial Omics Technology program.

About CytoTronics

At CytoTronics, we are transforming cell biology discovery with our high-throughput, semiconductor-based platforms. Our Pixel systems provide live cell insights with single-cell resolution across all cell types. By seamlessly integrating semiconductors with conventional microplates, Pixel unlocks multi-modal electrical, electrochemical, and electrophysiological capabilities, delivering an unprecedented scope of data collection and scale-up for cell biology research, drug development, and pharmaceutical manufacturing applications. Established as a spin-off from Harvard University in 2021, we are headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Learn more at or follow us on LinkedIn.


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