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Neurite Analysis


Quantifying Neurite Dynamics in Real Time

During development, neurons extend numerous processes that differentiate into dendrites and axons. These processes (termed neurites) are critical for communication between neurons. Characterization of neurite outgrowth, maturation, and the disruption of neurite networks is key to the study of neuropathological disorders (e.g. neurodegeneration), neuronal injury/regeneration and screening for neurotoxicity. However, current techniques used to study those dynamic biological changes are challenging.

With the IncuCyte® S3 Live-Cell Analysis System for Neuroscience (Cat. No. 4763) and IncuCyte® NeuroTrack Software Module (Cat. No. 9600-0010) you can now achieve automated, continuous, non-invasive imaging and measurement of neurite outgrowth with 96-/384-well assays that generate meaningful, kinetic data with visual confirmation of biological changes.

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Key Features and Benefits

Feature Benefit
  • Unique, mobile optical train keeps cells stationary while optics move
  • Incubation is provided by your tissue culture incubator
Conduct long-term study (weeks or months) on sensitive cells that are physically undisturbed and in a consistent, physiologically-relevant environment. Avoid damage to delicate neurite structures.
Automated image acquisition and analysis enables kinetic measurements in 96-well formats, up to six microplates in parallel Conduct robust pharmacological analysis or study more variables in less time
Purpose-built, guided image analysis workflow measures neurite structures and branch points in high-contrast phase images Easily quantify neurite outgrowth, label-free 
Proprietary reagents fluorescently-label neurites without perturbing cell health or morphology Perform kinetic neurite outgrowth analysis in co-cultures
Simple, cell sparing protocols without fixing, staining, or antibody-labeling Generate more information-rich data using less of your precious samples
Complete end-to-end solution including instrument, software and reagents Reduce time spent troubleshooting and spend more time investigating

Neurite Analysis Assays

Real-time neurite analysis inside your incubator

IncuCyte® Neurite Analysis Assays enable automated, continuous analysis of neurite outgrowth using your choice of neurons (e.g. primary, iPSC-derived, immortalized neuronal cell lines) in monoculture or in co-culture with astrocytes. Quantify neurite length and branch points in order to evaluate neural network stability over time – all inside your cell culture incubator.

  • Screen for neurotoxicity
  • Investigate neuroprotective treatments
  • Study pathways involved in neurodegeneration
  • Measure neuronal differentiation in real time

1. Label-free analysis of neurons in

Monitor neurite outgrowth in live neuronal monocultures using IncuCyte NeuroTrack analysis software. Fully automated, long-term label-free analysis.

Human iPSC-derived neurons (iCell Neurons, CDI) in monoculture

Human iPSC-derived neurons (iCell Neurons, CDI) in monoculture.

2. Fluorescence analysis of neurons in co-culture with astrocytes

Measure changes in neurite length and branch points in mixed cultures of neurons and astrocytes using fluorescent neuronal labelling reagents and IncuCyte analysis software.

Primary rat forebrain neurons labeled with the IncuCyte® NeuroLight Red reagent in co-culture with rat astrocytes

Primary rat forebrain neurons labeled with the IncuCyte® NeuroLight Orange reagent in co-culture with rat astrocytes.

Key Advantages

Key Advantages of IncuCyte Neurite Analysis

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Gain dynamic, relevant insight

Visualize and quantify neurite outgrowth and disruption in real time from living cultures over days/weeks

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Maximize your neuroscience research

Automatically generate time courses and reveal concentration dependent responses in 96- or 384-well plates

Read more below

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Create relevant models of neurodegeneration and neurotoxicity

Make continuous measurements in relevant neuronal cell models

Read more below

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Protect your cells

Real-time live cell protocols, no fixing, no staining, no antibody labeling

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Gain dynamic, relevant insight

Visualize and quantify long-term changes in neurite outgrowth and disruption in real time in label-free monocultures or use IncuCyte® NeuroLight reagents or NeuroPrime Cell Kits for selective analysis of neurite dynamics in co-cultures.

Continuous measures of neurite dynamics

Figure 1. Continuous measures of neurite dynamics. IncuCyte NeuroTrack analysis software automatically analyzes images to provide measures of neurite length, branch points and neuronal cell body clusters.

Maximize your neuroscience research

Our turnkey solution enables automatic generation of time courses to reveal concentration-dependent responses with IncuCyte NeuroTrack’s unbiased, automated analysis in 96- or 384-well plates.


Figure 2. Measure treatment effects automatically and non-invasively. IncuCyte neurite analysis assays allow every well of a 96- or 384-well plate to be imaged and analyzed automatically to provide a microplate readout of neurite dynamics over time (A). Time-courses reveal concentration-dependent treatment effects (B). Transform data into concentration-response curves to compare pharmacology (C).

Use your in vitro Model of Choice neurodegeneration and neurotoxicity

Make continuous measurements in relevant neuronal models in highly flexible, robust and reproducible assay formats suitable for screening and profiling. IncuCyte assays and reagents are compatible with iPSC-derived or primary cells, in mono- or co-culture.

Create relevant in vitro models of neurodegeneration and neurotoxicity

Figure 3. Create relevant in vitro models of neurodegeneration and neurotoxicity — screen for neuroprotective treatments. Concentration dependent neurotoxic effects of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) measured in human iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons (Dopa.4U, Axiogenesis) in a functional model of Parkinson’s disease. Treatment with bone derived neural factor (BDNF) promotes neurite formation but provided little or no protection against the effects of 6-OHDA.

Protect your cells

Real- time live cell protocols for continuous measurements of neuronal networks in monocultures or co-cultures using IncuCyte NeuroLight Lentiviral labeling reagents – no fixing, washing or labeling steps!

Neuronal monocultures—label-free protocol overview

Quick Guide Neuronal Mono-culture

Neuronal co-cultures—fluorescence protocol overview

Quick Guide Orange Neuronal Fluorescence

Request more information   VIEW INCUCYTE® Neurite Analysis PUBLICATIONS

Download the Neuroscience Publication Review

Learn how IncuCyte live-cell analysis has been used by researchers around the world to drive neuroscience discovery.

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Ordering Info

Ordering Information

Application Description Cat. No.
All Applications for Neuroscience Research
IncuCyte® S3 Live-Cell Analysis System for Neuroscience

Includes image acquisition and analysis system with

  • 4x, 10x, and 20x objectives
  • Controller with 16.4 TB storage
  • HD Dual Color Orange/NIR Optical Module
Neurite Dynamics
IncuCyte® NeuroTrack Software Module Enables microplate analysis of neurite dynamics with or without labels 9600-0010 
IncuCyte® NeuroLight Orange Lentiviral Reagent Live-cell neuronal labeling reagent for long-term expression of an orange fluorescent protein 4758  
IncuCyte® NeuroPrime Orange Cell and Reagent Kit

Kit includes:

  • IncuCyte® NeuroLight Orange Lentiviral Reagent
  • IncuCyte® rAstrocytes
  • IncuCyte® rCortical Neurons
IncuCyte® rCortical Neurons 2 x 106 cells/vial 4753 
IncuCyte® rAstrocytes 2 x 106 cells/vial 4586 
Neuronal Cell Health
IncuCyte® Annexin V Orange Reagent for Apoptosis One vial of lyophilized reagent sufficient for 100-200 live-cell apoptosis tests in 96-well format 4759

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