ToxFinder© is a custom-designed automated fluorescence-based high-content life-cell imaging system with integrated liquid-handling robotics installed in the lab of Prof. Stephan Frings, Department Molecular Physiology, Centre for Organismal Studies, University of Heidelberg, in the lab of Prof. Joe Lynch, Department of Molecular Neuroscience at QBI, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia and at the Institute of Medical Biotechnology  at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg. The robot is made-up of an inverted fluorescence microscope with attached CCD camera and fully automated auto-focusing infrastructure. It is equipped with a motorized stage for precise positioning of multititer plates and a pipetting device for automated liquid-handling. Hardware controlling, data acquisition and quantitative image analysis is accomplished by software modules written in LabView (National Instruments) running on a laptop computer. In combination with the image analysis software DetectTIFF©, the device is a valuable tool in development, optimization and miniaturization of cell-based assays. The spectrum of applications is versatile: ToxFinder© has been used for screening of fractioned animal toxins on cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels, for time-course calcium imaging to assay TRPV1 activation as well as for structure-function analysis and pharmacology of glycine and gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors (GlyR, GABAAR) and other membrane proteins.


Schneidereit D et al., Step-by-step guide to building an inexpensive 3D printed motorized positioning stage for automated high-content screening microscopy. Biosens Bioelectron. 2017

Copyright (C) Dr. Daniel F. Gilbert, 2018



xCell© is a rapid prototype of a portable life-cell imaging system for time-resolved visualization of slow dynamic processes in living cells, which reduces the cost of acquisition to about one hundredth of the cost for conventional microscopes and can be readily available for other laboratories and also educational purposes. The device is made-up of a microscope mounted on an automated stage and an incubator for maintaining optimal culture conditions. The system was constructed using a 3D-printer and off-the-shelf components, including a webcam-based  microscope, temperature, gas and humidity sensors for environment control and open-source Arduino microcontroller boards for hardware control and data acquisition. A software interface was developed using LabVIEW and LabView interface for Arduino.


Walzik MP et al., A portable low-cost long-term live-cell imaging platform for biomedical research and education. Biosens Bioelectron. 2015

Copyright (C) Dr. Daniel F. Gilbert, 2014




Portoporator© is a rapid prototype of a portable electroporator for DNA delivery into bacterial cells that can quickly be reconstructed using 3D desktop printing and off-the-shelf components. The device is light weight, small and extremely low-cost. The system was constructed using a 3D-printer and off-the-shelf component and an open-source Arduino microcontroller boards for hardware control


Schmitt M et al., Portoporator©: A portable low-cost electroporation device for gene transfer to cultured cells in biotechnology, biomedical research and education. Biosens Bioelectron. 2019

Copyright (C) Max Schmitt, 2019

DetecTIFF© Software


DetecTIFF© is an image analysis software, which allows fully automated object recognition and quantification from digital images. The core module of the LabView-based routine is an algorithm for structure recognition that employs intensity thresholding and size-dependent particle filtering from microscopic images in an iterative manner. The software is constantly being modified and employed for a large variety of scientific projects. 


Gilbert DF et al., DetecTiff: a novel image analysis routine for high-content screening microscopy. J Biomol Screen. 2009 

Copyright (C) Dr. Daniel F. Gilbert, 2009

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