The CytoSort™ Array has been specifically designed for use in the automated CellRaft AIR System. Based on the CellRaft Technology, the CytoSort Array comprises an elastomeric microwell array with each well of the array containing an individually releasable “raft”. The array is fabricated with a clear border that allows the AIR System to efficiently scan every microwell position. A unique code is embedded in the array that is read by the AIR System to identify the array format and materials. Finally, the array is housed in a petri dish-sized 65 mm cassette with a reservoir for various media, buffers or other reagents. Each CellRaft within the CytoSort Array has a unique address, describing its row and column position within the array.
The user can image the CytoSort Array either on or off the AIR System. If used on a standard inverted microscope the user can manually generate a list of addresses in a Microsoft Excel-style spreadsheet. The spreadsheet can be directly imported into the “Real Time” run mode of the AIR System operating software.
The CytoSort Array is held in place on the deck of the instrument by an adapter. The adapter is keyed so that the Array can be moved in and out of the adapter and still maintain proper orientation for multiple imaging runs.
Once the array is positioned on the adapter, the entire assembly can be placed on the left side of the deck of the AIR™ System. Alternatively, the adapter can be placed on the deck first followed by placing the CytoSort Array into the adapter. The right position is intended to house a 96-well SBS format plate for collecting the CellRafts. The AIR™ System employs the same proprietary needle-based release and magnet-based collection strategy as the manual CellRaft System for Inverted Microscopes.
The image above from the AIR System shows a single cell stained on a CytoSort Array. RED: SYTO 17 (cytoplasm), GREEN: Alexa 488 phalloidin (actin), BLUE: Hoechst (nucleus).