Art illustration of nanoparticles

Nanotoxicity Screening by Impedance Flow Cytometry

Impedance Flow Cytometry: An Effective and Reliable Tool for Nanotoxicity Screening

Nanomaterials (NMs) have gained enormous attention due to their unique properties and have found use everywhere in daily life applications.

However, this widespread use resulted in an increased release of NMs and raised concerns on their adverse impact on the environment and on human health.

Until recently, there was a lack of standardized methods to assess the toxicity potential of these NMs as traditional toxicity assays have been shown to interfere with NMs resulting in false negatives or false positives.

In a recent study, published in the renowned scientific journal ‘Scientific Reports’, the reliability and applicability of label-free impedance flow cytometry for in-vitro nanotoxicity screening were investigated. The study concludes that IFC is a robust and reliable tool that is less prone to interferences due to the advantage of being label-free (1).

"Label-free impedance flow cytometry for nanotoxicity screening"

Abstract:

The development of reliable and cost-efficient methods to assess the toxicity of nanomaterials (NMs) is critical for the proper identification of their impact on human health and for ensuring a safe progress of nanotechnology. In this study, we investigated the reliability and applicability of label-free impedance flow cytometry (IFC) for in vitro nanotoxicity screening, which avoids time-consuming labelling steps and minimizes possible NM-induced interferences. U937 human lymphoma cells were exposed for 24 h to eight different nanomaterials at five concentrations (2, 10, 20, 50, and 100 μg/mL). The NMs’ effect on viability was measured using IFC and the results were compared to those obtained by trypan blue (TB) dye exclusion and conventional flow cytometry (FC). To discriminate viable from necrotic cells, the IFC measurement settings regarding signal trigger level and frequency, as well as the buffer composition, were optimised. A clear discrimination between viable and necrotic cells was obtained at 6 MHz in a sucrose-based measurement buffer. Nanomaterial-induced interferences were not detected for IFC. The IFC and TB assay results were in accordance for all NMs. The IFC was found to be robust, reliable and less prone to interferences due to the advantage of being label-free.

(1) Label-free impedance flow cytometry for nanotoxicity screening. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-56705-3 [accessed Feb 27 2020].

Tomato in greenhouse

Impact of Pollen Quality on Tomato Seed Production

Large-Scale Research Project with Rijk Zwaan

In a recent customer research project, the Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer was used to evaluate the pollen quality of over 800 plants in 500 m2 greenhouse area.

The conclusions of the study show:

  • – A clear and distinctive correlation between pollen viability and seed set
  • – Pollen Viability needed to obtain optimum seed set varies per line
  • – The Ampha Z32 is more precise, faster and less prone to human bias than germination assays

If you are keen to know more about this project, please download the file for free.

Sorghum field

Breeding for Cold Stress Tolerance in Sorghum

Impedance Flow Cytometry Used to Analyze Sorghum Pollen Traits

A group of researchers from the Department of Plant Breeding at University of Giessen and the NPZ Innovation GmbH have conducted a study on reproductive cold stress tolerance in Sorghum F1 hybrids.

According to the study, the production of large pollen quantity with sufficient vitality also at lower temperature is considered to be the underlying physiological process to ensure seed set under cold stress in sorghum.

To quantify the amount as well as the viability of sorghum pollen, they have used the fast and non-invasive Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer

"Reproductive Cold Stress Tolerance in Sorghum F1 Hybrids is a Heterotic Trait"

Abstract:

The sensitivity of sorghum to pre-flowering cold stress, resulting in reduced pollen viability and poor seed set, is a major constraint for expanding growing areas into higher altitudes and latitudes. Nevertheless, compared to juvenile cold tolerance, reproductive cold tolerance in sorghum has received much less attention so far, and very little is known about its inheritance in F1-hybrids. We have composed a representative factorial (n=49 experimental F1-hybrids) for a comprehensive study on heterosis and combining ability for crucial tolerance traits as spikelet fertility (panicle harvestindex), seed yield and pollen viability, using field trials in stress- and control environments in Germany and Mexico as well as climate chamber experiments. Our results indicate a heterotic and rather dominant inheritance of reproductive cold tolerance in sorghum, with strong effects of female general combining ability (GCA) on F1-hybrid performance in our material. These findings, together with the comparatively low contribution of specific combining ability (SCA) effects and high heritability estimates, suggest that robust and efficient enhancement of reproductive cold tolerance is feasible viahybrid breeding.


(1) (PDF) Reproductive Cold Stress Tolerance in Sorghum F1 Hybrids is a Heterotic Trait. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335627689 [accessed Feb 11 2020].

Comparison of germination assays and the Ampha Z32 for pollen viability analysis

Pollen Germination vs. Pollen Viability

Learn Why Germination Assays are Outdated

Pollen quality plays an important role in plant breeding and seed production. In-vitro germination is often regarded as the gold standard method for assessing pollen viability.

In a recent industry study on tomato pollen (Solanum lycopersicumin-vitro germination and Impedance Flow Cytometry on the Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer were compared.

The conclusion of this study are:

  1. Impedance Flow Cytometry (IFC) and germination show a good correlation when the correct pollen sample preparation and germination conditions are applied.
  2. IFC method is more accurate, less prone to bias and significantly faster. For the analysis of 100 samples a time savings of at least 10 hours is achieved.
  3. For optimal results, a controlled rehydration process of 30 min needs to be applied

If you are interested in the details of this comparison, please check out our Application Note.

Amphasys at ASTA Seed Meeting 2019

Amphasys at ASTA Seed Congress 2019

On-Demand Pollination for Corn Seed Production

Discover the benefits of pollen analysis in seed production:

  • – Higher yields
  • – Increased purity
  • – Lower cost of goods

Pollen quality analysis is the key to optimizing the pollination process and hence drive yield improvements, save production costs and increase the quality of your seed. Come see our solutions on the Seed Expo Tour on Thursday at 10:00 am and at the Ag Innovative Showcase on Tuesday at 1:00 pm.

Visit the pollen experts at booths #1123 and #1125 at the ASTA Seed Congress and we are happy to show you the technologies that make the difference!

PowerPollen harnesses optimum pollen management by providing seed producers better pollination at lower costs, resulting in a higher return on investment.

The heart of the PowerPollen solution is Amphasys’s high throughput pollen analyzer that enables data-driven pollen quality monitoring and drives yield in plant breeding and seed production.

Neutec Group offers state of the art technologies to enhance any lab performance in the Biotechnology and Agriculture laboratories. Their equipment offers unprecedented analysis for seeds, pollen, and Agro studies. At ASTA they will showcase the Ampha™ Z32 pollen analyzer, manufactured by Amphasys and utilized by Power Pollen – come see it on the Innovation Tour Thursday, December 12, 2019, 10:00 am – 11:30 am.

Marco Di Berardino will be attending the 1st ExoFlowMetry Meeting

Amphasys at 1st ExoFlowMetry Meeting in Rome

Single Cell Analysis with Impedance Flow Cytometry

The potential of flow cytometry (FC) is still large in areas different than the clinical and biomedical applications, for which it is widely applied since the ’60s of the last century. High process stability, multiparametric and analytical precision are typical features for FC, all well suited to different and unconventional (exotic) applications. New fields of application such as pollen analysis and plant breeding, diary production, brewery, winemaking, fish and animal farming, and genomics, inner and outer water quality control, are now available to FC characterization and manipulation, and more and more are fast developing. 

Amphasys as one of the leading companies for practical applications of Impedance Flow Cytometry is proud to be part of the First International Workshop on Exotic Flow Cytometry from November 13 – 15, 2019 in Rome and will present its Ampha Z32 Impedance Flow Cytometer.

Squash

Pollen Analysis for Cucurbita & Malvacea Pollen Made Easy​

Measuring Large Pollen With a Size of Up to 200 µm

Even the largest pollen of up to about 200 µm can now be analyzed with the Ampha Z32 Pollen Analyzer. Species with large pollen such as pumpkin, squash and zucchini (Cucurbita maxima, C. pepo, C. moschata and other C. species) as well as cotton, ocra and hibiscus (and other species of Malvacea family) can now be measured with the new 400 µm AmphaChip. 

In order to ensure smooth measurements with the new 400 µm AmphaChip, the Amphasys R&D experts have developed two new AmphaFluid Buffers, AF8 and AF9 which prevent rapid sedimentation of big pollen.

Ask for our “Large Pollen Kit” containing all the materials needed to get started. For more information please have a look at our information sheet.

Amphasys Cancer Cell Viability

Monitoring of Yeast and Insect Cells in Biotechnology

Rapid Determination of Cell Viability by Impedance Flow Cytometry

In a collaboration with the University of Basel and the Doppelleu Boxer Brewery, we analyzed insect cell cultures and beer fermentations with our Ampha Z32 Impedance Flow Cytometer. The intriguing results were used to optimize the production processes.

Based on these findings we published an article in the journal “Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology” on the determination of cell status, cell viability and optimal harvest time in eukaryotic cell cultures.

 
Pollen Quality and the seed industry. Lecture by Dr. Rutgher van Zwieten

Amphasys Lecturing at Seed Meets Technology

Learn How to Achieve Gains in Seed-Set and Quality

Predicting seed yields is a big challenge for seed producers. A key factor for achieving high seed yields is sufficient pollination with good quality pollen.

The Ampha Z32, a one-of-a-kind high throughput instrument based on the Coulter counter principle, measures pollen cells in label-free fashion. Adapted by all major seed companies, it offers a great tool to analyze pollen viability, number, size, ploidy, and developmental stage. Since previous viability measurements with staining or germination media were quite cumbersome, the current technique offers unique insights in plant and pollen behavior/dynamics thanks to its high throughput capability and quick sample preparation. Learn how to achieve gains in seed-set and quality with pollen quality monitoring.

Learn how to achieve gains in seed-set and quality with pollen quality monitoring and join Dr. Ruthger van Zwieten for his lecture at the Seed Meets Technology Meeting in Zwagdijk from September 24-25, 2019.J