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Counting plated neurons - (Mar/29/2006 )

In my recently adquired position as potdoc Ill have to count lots of plated neurons. At the lab they do it with a home-made grid that not only is very time-consuming, but also introduces a lot of noise in the countings. Does anyone know about a fast and accurate method that doesnt affect their survival/growth/differentiation?
Thank you very much.

-Timesaver-

for great number of plates or cells, i've done exp with a cell sorter. But it's not very recommended with cells greater than 33┬Ám diameter as they were disturbed quite a lot in the cell sorting machine.
Malassez cells are the best work to count cell concentration on an aliquot and you're only sacryfying the cells that you use for counting. I don't know other methods.

Alternative is to coexpress a fluoresceing protein and do it with an auto counting microscopy. But fluo protein may be toxic and auto counting microscope is expensive.

-fred_33-