Yokogawa Announces Release of CQ1 Confocal Quantitative Image Cytometer

Tokyo, Japan - February 27, 2014

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces the May release of the CQ1, a confocal quantitative image cytometer that uses images of cell cultures to accurately and efficiently quantify the morphological features of individual cells. The CQ1 is able to obtain accurate results without the need to separate the cells in a cell cluster or remove them from a culture dish, improving the efficiency of testing.

The CQ1 will be on display at an exhibition that will be held concurrently with the General Meeting of the Japanese Society for Regenerative Medicine from March 4 to 6 at the Kyoto International Conference Center.

Yokogawa will continue to expand its life sciences business by developing new products for research, cell culture quality control, and testing applications in regenerative medicine and other fields that enjoy good prospects for growth.

CQ1 Confocal Quantitative Image Cytometer
CQ1 Confocal Quantitative Image Cytometer

Development Background

The need to quantify cell morphological features such as area and shape is growing in fields such as cell testing, regenerative medicine, and the study of cancer and other diseases. Cell states can easily be determined by comparison with normal cell state data. Targets include floating cells in a culture medium, two-dimensional cells cultured in a single layer in a culture medium, and three-dimensionally cultured cell clusters. Fluorescence microscopes or other conventional devices are usually used to visually quantify cell morphological features, but the types and accuracy of the data that can be obtained is limited as this requires the separation or removal of cells. Researchers and lab technicians have been waiting for the development of a device that can obtain more accurate data by maintaining the original biological functions and features of the cells in cell clusters.

To meet this need, Yokogawa has developed the CQ1. This all-in-one confocal quantitative image cytometer is based on a Yokogawa confocal scanner unit (CSU) that is widely used by research institutes all over the world. Unlike conventional devices, the CQ1 uses a microlens enhanced dual Nipkow disk* confocal optical system to obtain accurate three-dimensional images of cell morphological features and measure cell position.

Main Features

  1. Greater accuracy
    Cell morphological features can be quantified without having to separate individual cells or remove them from the culture surface. By not interfering with the biological functions of the cells or altering their features, more accurate measurements can be made. Various types of data such as surface area, volume, number of cells, cell position, position of particles in cells, and fluorescence intensity can be displayed in tables or graphs.
  2. Live cell imaging
    Yokogawa's CSU can be combined with an optical microscope to make a confocal microscope system that is capable of obtaining sliced images of cells at a high speed, while minimizing the damage to cells caused by laser irradiation (phototoxic risk) and fluorescence photobleaching. The use of the CSU enables the viewing of live cells in three dimensions and multiple colors. Cells can be reused, eliminating waste. This is thus well suited for the requirements of regenerative medicine cell quality management, testing, and experimentation.
  3. Highly reproducible data
    Thanks to a laser excitation power monitoring function that ensures steady stable laser power and the use of periodic internal calibration to correct for the influence of variable elements other than laser power, measurements are highly reproducible.

Main Markets

Regenerative medicine; basic medical, pathological, anatomical, and biological research; pharmacology; drug discovery; and other types of cell-related research that involve the use of techniques such as fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)


  • iPS and ES cell research; cell research for regenerative medicine; cell quality evaluation for drug discovery; disease research; and biopsy evaluation

About the Confocal Scanner Unit (CSU)

The CSU can be attached to an ordinary optical microscope to form a confocal microscope system. Yokogawa's CSU employs an innovative design that combines the use of microlens arrays with a Nipkow disk*. An extremely high contrast clear image can be obtained at any focal distance by using a laser to irradiate a sample that has been dyed with a fluorescent reagent. Sliced images can be obtained in situ without splitting a sample into sections, and three-dimensional models can be created from the sliced image data. These features make the CSU a powerful tool, and it is used by research institutes around the world to view dynamic real-time changes in cells. Over 2,200 CSUs have been delivered to date.

* Multi-beam scanning is performed using a Nipkow disk on which a large number of pin holes are arranged in a spiral pattern. For fast and efficient scanning, microlens arrays with microlenses arranged in a grid pattern focus light on the individual pin holes on the Nipkow disk.



About Yokogawa

Yokogawa's global network of 88 companies spans 55 countries. Founded in 1915, the US$4 billion company conducts cutting-edge research and innovation. Yokogawa is engaged in the industrial automation and control (IA), test and measurement, and other businesses segments. The IA segment plays a vital role in a wide range of industries including oil, chemicals, natural gas, power, iron and steel, pulp and paper, pharmaceuticals, and food. For more information about Yokogawa, please visit the website www.yokogawa.com