FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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General questions:

Q: How does this technology work?

A: Both instruments acquire cell or tissue samples using precisely controlled vacuum impulses.

Q: What are the advantages of CTAS technology over existing laser assisted systems?

A: There are several advantages.

First, it requires minimal sample processing. Both native and fresh frozen brain tissues can be used.

Second, cells can be collected directly from a standard cell culture dish. Both instruments can collect live cells and has minimal impact on cell viability, and thus permit a variety of downstream assays from clonal to single cell analysis.

Third, the instruments are very easy to use and require minimal training.

Fourth, its cost and cost of maintenance are both very low.

Q: Is it compatible with fluorescence?

A: Yes. The systems are compatible with a wide range of inverted microscopes.

Q: Can I have a demo?

A: Please check our instructional videos on tissue microdissection and cell collection. Currently we provide live demos in Southern California only. However, the purchase of any instrument includes free installation and a free training session.

Q: How can I order the instrument?

A: You can contact us for a quote by phone or email: info@neuroindx.com

Q: Are there any labs using your instruments?

A: Yes, there are laboratories in the US and abroad using our systems for both tissue microdissection and collection of individual cells from adherent cultures. Please see the list of representative customers.

Q: Does the instrument require a computer and software?

A: UnipicK and UnipicK+ do not require a computer. However a computer with monitor is required for image visualization and documentation when digital camera is used. Digital camera is purchased separately.

Q: Does your system include a microscope?

A: No. Both UnipicK and UnipicK+ are free standing instruments which can be used with a wide range of inverted microscopes.

Q: What are other accessories?

A: Both instruments use disposable capillary units (DCUs) for the collection of cells and tissue microdissection. DCUs come in several different diameters depending on the size of the cells and desired tissue samples. In addition UnipicK+ uses a universal slide and plate adapter to permit collection from slides and plates in different configurations.

Q: How expensive are DCUs?

A: DCUs come in the box of 6 units for $70.00 per box. A discount may be applied if more than 10 boxes are purchased at once.

Q: What training is required?

A: Both instruments require minimal training. The instruments are supplied with a number of free DCUs which can be used for training and protocol optimization. On average it takes less than an hour for a new operator to learn the procedure. Please, check our instructional videos to familiarize yourself with operation sequence.

Q: How long do experiments usually take?

A: It depends on the nature of the experiment and the amount of material you need to collect. On average it takes less than a second to collect a single cell. Normally, tissue dissection takes from 30 to 45 minutes.

Q: Can UnipicK or UnipicK+ unit be attached to the microscope that I already have.

A: Most likely – yes. Both systems are compatible with a wide range of inverted microscopes. Please contact us for specific information.

 

Cell collection and tissue microdissection questions:

Q: What cell types does it collect from cultures?

A: Both instruments can virtually collect any cells grown as adherent cultures. In addition, cells grown in suspension may be collected using specific protocols. Cell colonies grown in 3D medium may be collected as well.

Q: How do I prepare my cells?

A: It requires no specific preparation protocol when adherent cell cultures are used. Cells are collected directly from the culture plates.

Q: Do I have to culture my cells on special cell culture dishes?

A: No. The instruments work with any cell culture plates.

Q: What kind of tissues can it microdissect?

A: The instruments are optimal for microdissecting soft tissues, such as the brain.  However, a specific protocol can be used to work with other tissue types.

Q: How do I prepare my tissues?

A: A basic protocol for tissue preparation can be found on Application Notes page.

Q: Are there any specific requirements for the glass slides used for tissue microdissection?

A: No.  The instruments work with any type of glass slides.

Q: Do I have to stain tissue sections prior to microdissection?

A: No.  Staining is used to identify regions of interest during microdissection.  It is optional, but often not required.

Q: What is the quality of RNA isolated from samples collected with KuiqpicK?

A: Very high. Please see our original publication – Kudo et al, 2012.

Q: What is the protein quality? Can it be used for proteomics studies?

A: Yes. Proteins isolated from CTAS dissected samples have no signs of degradation and can be used for large proteomics studies. Please see Kudo et al, 2012.

Q: How do I select right DCU diameter?

A: The internal diameter (ID) of DCUs should normally be similar to the dimensions of the cells to be collected.  For microdissection, ID smaller than the total area should be selected.

 

Service questions:

Q: What is the warranty?

A: The instruments have one year standard full warranty and service. The warranty may be extended on request.

Q: What is the service plan?

A: After one year of initial warranty, additional full warranty may be purchased for approximately 8% of the instrument’s cost per year.

Q: How many DCUs do I need?

A: This is estimated on a case by case basis depending on your experimental needs.

Q: How expensive are DCUs?

A: $70.00 per box of six DCUs. Discounts are applied when more than 10 boxes are purchased at once.

Q: Can I make DCUs myself?

A: No. DCUs are specifically designed and produced by NeuroInDx for use with NeuroInDx’s proprietary technology.  Use of any other type of DCUs will void the warranty.

Q: Can I reuse DCUs?

A: If the DCU tip is intact it can be reused. We recommend sterilizing DCUs to avoid cross contamination.  DCUs can be autoclaved.

Q: Does NeuroInDx provide cell collection or microdissection services?

A: Yes, please contact us to discuss your specific project and needs. We can perform both custom microdissection and cell collection services. If necessary, RNA may be extracted and evaluated for integrity.