Neuro Cell Health & Morphology
Neuro Cell Health & Morphology


Neuronal Cell Health & Morphology


Characterization of neurite outgrowth, maturation, and the disruption of neurite networks is key to the study of neuropathological disorders, neuronal injury and regeneration, as well as when screening for neurotoxicity. Additionally, measurements of cell viability are central to the study of drug candidates, culture conditions and the impact of environmental factors on neuronal cell health and function. Neuronal cell health assays are routinely used in drug discovery screens, and may be used to identify treatments that confer neuroprotective effects without causing neurotoxicity.

IncuCyte® Neuronal Cell Health and Morphology Assays reveal both significant and subtle dynamic changes in cells over an extended period of time using fully automated image acquisition and analysis. Our purpose-built software and lab-tested, non-perturbing reagents pair with the IncuCyte® S3 Live-Cell Analysis System for Neuroscience to provide a new, enabling, turnkey solution for analyzing live cells at 96- and 384-well throughput.

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Unraveling the Complexities of Neurological Disease and Injury with Real-time Live-cell Analysis


Unraveling the Complexities of Neurological Disease and Injury with Real-time Live-cell Analysis

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Live-cell Analysis for Neuroscientists


Live-cell Analysis for Neuroscientists: applications for iPSCs and primary cell models

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Key Advantages

IncuCyte® Neuronal Cell Health and Morphology Assays measure cell viability and neurite dynamics, allowing you to:

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Gain dynamic insights

Generate more data per cell with kinetic assays, and avoid restrictions imposed by end-point analysis.

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Protect and preserve your precious cells

Reduce artifacts and preserve fragile neurites, with either label-free analysis or use of non-perturbing fluorescent reagents designed for sensitive cells.  

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Use your in vitro model of choice

Compatible with iPSC-derived or primary cells, in mono- or co-culture.

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Get answers faster

Easily generate highly reproducible data at microplate throughput suitable for pharmacological analysis.

Gain Dynamic Insights

Examine neurite outgrowth or disruption and cell health with automated, long-term imaging and analysis to capture both significant and subtle dynamic changes in neuronal networks.  

Neuro Cell Health Morphology Figure 1

Figure 1. Gain valuable biological insight into physiologically relevant in vitro models that more accurately represent human neurodegenerative disease. Quantification of 6-OHDA-mediated toxicity in the Dopa.4U cellular model of Parkinson’s disease (Axol Biosciences). Dopa.4U cells were infected with IncuCyte® NeuroLight Lentiviral Reagent and imaged every 6 hours for 12 days using a 20x objective. 6-OHDA caused a time- and concentration-dependent decrease in neurite length with an IC50 concentration of 84 µM.

Protect and Preserve your Precious Cells

Reduce artifacts and preserve fragile neurites. Conduct label-free neurite analysis in mono-culture or use simple, non-perturbing fluorescent labeling in co-culture with IncuCyte NeuroLight Orange Reagent. Detect apoptosis with non-perturbing, mix-and-read IncuCyte® Annexin V Orange Reagent. No fixing, staining, or lifting required.

Figure 2. Perform label-free analysis of neurite length, branch points and cell body clusters automatically and at 96-/384-well throughput. High Definition (HD) phase images of rat cortical neurons are easily segmented using IncuCyte® NeuroTrack Software to identify neurites and cell bodies (A). PlateGraphs show kinetic data in every well, enabling rapid visualization and evaluation of treatment trends in a 384-well screening plate (B).

Neuronal Cell Health & Morphology Figure 3

Figure 3. Analyze neurite dynamics over extended time periods within co-cultures using non-perturbing reagents. Infect neuronal cell types with IncuCyte® NeuroLight Orange Reagent to ensure neuron-specific labeling. Rat cortical neurons cultured in the presence of astrocytes were transduced and imaged over 14 days and treated with glutamate at day 10 (A). Timecourse analysis reveals concentration-dependent treatment effects (B).

Neuronal Cell Heath & Morphology Figure 4

Figure 4. Measure time course and concentration-dependent effects on cell viability continuously and noninvasively. IncuCyte® Annexin V Orange Reagent is non-perturbing to cell health and morphology and yields an easily measured fluorescent signal indicative of apoptosis. Observe the kinetics of cell death by analysis of fluorescent signal in images and movies throughout your experiment (A). Analyze the time course of concentration-dependent treatment of neuronal cultures using kinetic readouts (B).

Use your in vitro Model of Choice

IncuCyte assays and reagents for neurite analysis and cell health are compatible with iPSC-derived or primary cells, in mono- or co-culture.

Figure 5. Examine readouts of neurodegenerative disorders in your preferred primary or iPSC-derived neuronal cell type. IncuCyte® NeuroLight Orange Reagent can be used to selectively label neurites in co-culture for analysis of neurite length. Here, Dopa.4U, hNPC, iCell, and Peri.4U were examined.

Get Answers Faster

Support drug discovery research with data suitable for pharmacological analysis. Evaluate multiple experimental conditions with easy-to-generate, highly reproducible data at microplate throughput. Spend more time investigating, and less-time troubleshooting with our turnkey solution including lab-tested reagents, live-cell protocols, and purpose-built software tools.

Figure 6. Consistent, high volume data sets are rapidly generated through continuous automated image acquisition using minimal cells in 6 x 96- or 6 x 384- well plates in parallel. Time course of iCell Neuron neurite length demonstrating high protocol reproducibility in a 384 well plate over 11 days in culture – CV<15% (A). 384-well plate showing reproducible pharmacology with easily generated EC/IC50 curves (B).

Learn More about IncuCyte Assays for Neuronal Cell Health and Morphology

Neurite Analysis

IncuCyte Neurite Analysis Assays

Key Advantages:

  • Generate kinetic, image-based and automated measurements using IncuCyte NeuroTrack software
  • Capture subtle, transient events often missed with end-point assays – IncuCyte enables non-invasive, repeated measurements of the same neuronal network
  • Generate more information-rich data using simple, cell sparing protocols - no  cell lifting or fixing/staining

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IncuCyte® Annexin V Orange Reagent for apoptosis

Key Advantages:

  • Real-time, automated analysis of the time course of apoptosis suitable for pharmacology studies
  • Visualize morphological changes and validate treatment effects with images and movies
  • Maintain cell health and morphology while reducing loss of precious cells with a non-perturbing, mix-and-read reagent

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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 Cryopreserved vial of cortical neurons isolated from embryonic stage (E18) Sprague-Dawley rats (2x106 cells/vial) 4753 
IncuCyte® rAstrocytes Cryopreserved vial of astrocytes isolated from embryonic stage (E18) Sprague-Dawley rats (2x106 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 
IncuCyte® Annexin V NIR Reagent for Apoptosis One vial of lyophilized reagent sufficient for 100-200 live-cell apoptosis tests in 96-well format 4768 
IncuCyte® NucLight Orange Lentiviral Reagent One vial (0.2 mL) for efficient, non-perturbing, nuclear labeling of cells 4771 

Technical literature

Related Applications

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Neuroscience literature & resources

Find helpful resources for neuroscience research like peer-reviewed publications, application notes, protocols, scientific posters, videos, and more.

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Neuroscience reagents and software

A comprehensive range of reagents and software for the IncuCyte® Live-Cell Analysis System for Neuroscience is available to support your neuroscience research.

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Need help or support?

Let us know if we can help with your neuroscience research. Request a demo, get a quote, or get general product information from our friendly team. 

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