Synbiosis, a world-leading manufacturer of automated microbiological systems, has launched its new ProtoCOL 2 system for rapid, accurate automated colony counting and zone measurement.

The ProtoCOL 2 is an ergonomically designed imaging unit with dark screens to eliminate ambient light effects and improve imaging results. The unit contains a high resolution camera and red, blue and green LED lighting (patent pending) integrated to a processor and software. The software is accessed via a touch screen monitor sitting above the unit and features on screen commands, allowing users to intuitively set their system up in minutes. These settings can be saved to make analysing the same plate types at a later date, a quick one touch process.

The ProtoCOL 2 system’s unique lighting method illuminates the plates in three different colours. The system’s camera captures each image and integrates them in seconds to generate high definition, life-like images. This enables precise counts of difficult to see colonies and accurate measurements of zones with indistinct edges.

The results can be downloaded to a memory stick via the USB ports on the ProtoCOL 2. Alternatively, the system can easily be connected to a PC network allowing users to capture, print and save full colour images or download numerical data to Excel. The GLP compliant ProtoCOL 2 software can be integrated into a 21 CFR Part 11 environment and is modular so users can cost-effectively customise their system to include the colony counting or zone sizing analysis programmes which suit them.

Martin Smith of Synbiosis said: “Microbiologists want to rapidly count colonies or accurately size zones with affordable, yet simple to programme equipment. This is technically challenging and we have spent four years developing such automation. We are looking forward to demonstrating how the lighting and software in the ProtoCOL 2 could significantly improve results for applications as diverse as counting E.coli colonies through to testing flu vaccines.”


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