microscopic image of cells

Milestone: The 10,000th Countess cell counter goes to…
Dr Brian Wong at Washington University

In 2008 the Invitrogen Countess Automated Cell Counter was launched and became almost instantly famous for saving people from the tedious task of manual cell counting. Ten years later, the updated Invitrogen Countess II Automated Cell Counter was shipped to the 10,000th customer, Dr. Brian Wong at the Washington University School of Medicine. In this interview, he tells us how the game-changing Countess II Automated Cell Counter increases efficiency in his lab.

Countess II Automated Cell Counter
Brian Wong, PhD

Brian Wong, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Surgery
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, Missouri, USA

What is the scope of your research?

We are seeking to understand the role of lymphatic vessels in transplant rejection in multiple solid organ transplant settings (e.g., heart, lung, kidney), and to determine whether targeting cellular metabolism can be an effective therapeutic option to improve organ transplant survival.

How were you counting cells prior to purchasing the Countess II Automated Cell Counter?

Using a Neubauer hemocytometer. I had previously used a Countess device in other labs.

How do you anticipate the Countess II device will help in your research?

I anticipate that it will help to optimize our workflow in counting cells from in vitro culture and in vivo isolation, reducing the amount of time required while maintaining accuracy of cell counting.

What challenges do you face in your research?

With an unlimited number of possible questions to ask, I am challenged with deciding whether seeking the answers to a particular question are worth pursuing and how much effort to devote to it. A reality of science is how to effectively manage resources, finances, and time to produce high-quality work. I am constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency; that is why I chose the Countess II device.

What drives your passion for science?

The notion that every day, the work we do in the laboratory can contribute to the discovery of things that no one else knows. These discoveries can change how we understand biological mechanisms in cells, as well as how these systems may be aberrantly dysregulated in disease. An important part of my passion is the mentorship of others to pursue science, and working with the scientific community to collaborate in answering important research questions.

Time savings = cost savings

Reduce both environmental impact and cost

Many labs continue to perform tedious manual cell counting in order to avoid costs associated with automating the task, including disposable slides and tips. The Countess II FL instrument was designed to work with a reusable glass slide instead, which helps significantly reduce the long-term consumable costs and environmental impact.

Pile of used disposable slides and discarded slide packaging generated following 50 cell counting events

Pictured at left is the waste generated by one box of 50 disposable slides for cell counting. If a lab uses five slides per day, they would generate 24 times this amount of waste per year. Since the Countess II FL instrument is compatible with either disposable or reusable slides, you can decide which works best for your lab.