Cell counters designed for daily use in GMP regulated environments

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Smart, fast and intuitive cell analysis

The Countstar Altair and Rigel systems are cGMP compliant cell counters that provide exceptional accuracy and precision for a broad range of cell analyses.  These analysers integrate innovative image recognition algorithms, patented fixed-focus technology and advanced optical technology to elevate and simplify cell counting and analysis for a variety of industrial cell lines.  Preconfigured BioApps guarantee an easy, safe execution of all tests, with the flexibility to allow for easy adaption and customisation.

All-in-one, compact design

The small footprint, light weight Countstar Altair and Rigel analysers are highly mobile, that can be shifted easily from one lab to another.  With an integrated ultra-sensitive touchscreen and CPU, Altair and Rigel analysers offer the possibility to view and analyse the acquired data immediately and stores up to 150,000 measurements on its hard integrated hard disk drive.

Our unique patented fixed focus technology (FFT)

The Countstar Altair and Rigel systems are equipped with a highly precise, full-metal optical bench, based on our patented “Fixed Focus Technology” (pFFT), never demanding a user-dependent focusing prior to any image acquisition.

Meets modern pharmaceutical and manufacturing cGMP requirements

The Countstar Altair and Rigel systems are designed to meet modern pharmaceutical and manufacturing cGMP requirements.  The software complies with 21 CFR part 11.  IQ/OQ service and PQ support are also available.


Unique patented fixed focus technology (FFT)

Altair and Rigel systems contain an extremely robust, full-metal made, optical bench, with our patented Fixed Focus Technology integrated.  There is no need at any time for the operator to adjust the focus manually prior to measurement.

Innovative image recognition algorithms

Countstar's protected image recognition algorithms analyse more than 20 single parameters of each classified object.

Intuitive, three-step analysis

Altair and Rigel systems are designed to guide you from sample to results in less time than comparable methods.  It simplifies your workflow, allowing for increased productivity and efficiency by analysis of more parameters than classical methods.

Compact, all-in-one design

App-structured user interface allows for an intuitive, 21CFR Part 11 compliant, user experience.  Personalised user profiles guarantee for a fast access to specific menu features.

Individually designed and customisable BioApps

Individually designed and customisable BioApps (assay protocol templates) offers access to an in-depth analysis of cells.

Advanced statistical accuracy and precision

Up to three regions of interest per single chamber and measurement can be selected and analysed.  This allows an additional increase in precision and accuracy of low concentration sample analysis.

Up to 13 fluorescence channel combinations

Rigel systems are available with up to 4 LED excitation wavelengths and 5 detection filters, allowing for 13 different combinations of fluorescent analysis.

Accurate and precise results

The Countstar Altair and Rigel systems hard- and software creates trust by its ability to analyse five samples at a time, producing accurate and precise results. The patented Fixed Focus Technology in combination with the exact chamber height of 190µm in each Countstar chamber are the basis for a coefficient of variation (CV) of less than 5% regarding cell concentration and viability in the range of 2 × 105 to 1 × 107 cells/mL.

Optional data export for analysis in Flow Cytometry Software (FCS)

The DeNovo™ FCS Express image series software can transfer exported Countstar Rigel images and results into highly dynamic data. The FCS software allows for in-depth analysis of cell populations to boost your experimental reach and publishes your results in a new dimensions. The Countstar Rigel in combination with the optional available FCS Express Image Image guarantees the user efficient data analysis of apoptosis progress, cell cycle status, transfection efficiency, CD marker phenotyping, or antibody affinity kinetic experiment.

Meeting the actual requirements of modern cGMP biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing

Altair and Rigel systems are designed to meet all actual requirements in modern cGMP regulated biopharmaceutical research and production environments. The software can be operated compliantly to FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11 regulations. Key features include tamper-resistant software, encrypted storage results and image data, multi-role user access management and electronic signatures and log files that provide for a secure audit trail. Customisable IQ/OQ document editorial service and PQ support are offered to guarantee a seamless integration of Countstar analysers in validated production laboratories.



Brightfield cell analyser designed for daily use in cGMP

The Countstar Altair is a brightfield-based image analyser, designed for the automated monitoring of mammalian cells, fungi and particle suspensions.  Based on a full metal-designed optical bench containing a high resolution five (5) Mega Pixel CMOS colour camera in combination with a top-rated 2.5 magnification lens, and integrated Fixed Focus Technology for always detailed and sharp images.  The automated chamber slide mechanism allows for a consecutive analysis of up to five samples in a single sequence with its live view feature.  Our proprietary image algorithms have been designed with the most advanced cell recognition techniques.  The Altair will enable the user to determine precisely cell concentration, cell viability, cell diameter, the aggregation level of objects, and their roundness, based on established staining methods such as Trypan Blue exclusion.

Rigel S2

Automated 2-channel fluorescence cell analyser

The Countstar Rigel S2 is equipped with two fluorescent excitation wavelengths and two detection filters.  It offers additionally a brightfield view on all samples in the digital microscope optics.  The analyser allows for the routine analysis of cell density and viability, and transfection efficiency.  The pre-configured BioApps (assay protocol templates) guarantee an easy, safe execution of all tests.  The protocols of the BioApps are optimised for the most frequently executed tests in production monitoring of cell-based therapies, investigation of primary cell material and composition of PBMC samples, modified CAR-T, NK and stem cells.

Rigel S3

Universal solution for cell counting, viability and T/NK cell mediated cytotoxicity assays

The Countstar Rigel S3 combines three fluorescence excitation wavelengths with three detector filters, offering a brightfield view as a plus.  The analyser integrates functionalities of an image cytometer, a digital microscope and an automated cell counter in a bench-top instrument.  This application-driven, compact and automated imaging cell analyser provides a universal platform for cell density and viability determination, apoptosis monitoring, CD-marker phenotyping and many more test scenarios that can be added by a new individual, customisable BioApps, tailored to the characteristics of those dyes, compatible to the available excitation and detector wavelengths.  BioApps simplify routine, cellular-based laboratory tasks, making them more reliable, and saving time to focus on other, important works in the lab or production.

Rigel S5

A wide span of multi-colour fluorescence experiments

The top model of the Countstar Rigel series, the Rigel S5 allows for a combination of three different excitation wavelengths (375 nm, 480 nm and 525 nm) with 4 detections filters (460 nm, 535 nm, 580 nm and 600LP).  Ten possible combinations of excitation and emission (detection) filters widen the span of BioApps for multi-colour fluorescence applications besides routine cell density and viability significantly.  Assays such as antibody affinity kinetics, cell cycle studies, cell differentiation, apoptosis progress advanced cytotoxicity assays and other customisable BioApps can be uploaded and executed on the Countstar Rigel S5.


ModelsAltairRigel S2Rigel S3Rigel S5
Sample throughput / consumable5 samples; Countstar 5-Chamber slide
Objective magnification2.5x5.0x5.0x5.0x
Imaging element5-megapixel CMOS camera1.4 megapixel CCD camera
Storage500 GB
Cell detection size range3 – 180 μm
Concentration range1 × 104 - 3 × 107 cells/mL
Detection modesBrightfieldBrightfield and fluorescence
Fluorescence channels:
Excitation wavelengths (nm)
Emission filters (nm)
480, 525
535/40; 600LP

375, 480, 525
480/50, 535/40, 600LP

375, 480, 525
480/50, 535/40, 580/25, 600LP


Process development

Typical applications in process development of the Biopharma industry such as cell line selection, cell bank generation, cell storage conditioning and product yield optimisation require permanent monitoring of cell status parameters.  Altair and Rigel analysers are the optimum tool to track these aspects in a smart, fast, cost-efficient, highly accurate and validated way.  It can help to accelerate the development of industrial-scale processes significantly.

Pilot and large-scale manufacturing

Consistent, multi-parameter monitoring of pilot and large-scale cell cultures is an evitable prerequisite to guarantee an optimum quality of the final products, independent of the cell themselves or their intracellular or secreted substances are in the focus of the production process.  Altair and Rigel analysers are perfectly suited for frequent batch testing in production lines, independent from the individual bioreactor volumes.

Quality control

Cell based therapies are promising concepts for the treatment of various causes of illnesses.  As the cells themselves are in the focus of the therapy, advanced quality control of their parameters is the most effective way to infuse the cells according to the pre-defined requirements.  From isolation and classification of the donor cells, the monitoring of their refrigeration and transport steps, up to the proliferation and passaging of the suitable cell types, Altair and Rigel analysers are the ideal system to test the cells at any of the listed tasks.  These analysers have their place in the quality control of upstream and downstream processing.

AssaysAltairRigel S2Rigel S3Rigel S5
Trypan Blue Cell Count
Dual-fluorescence AO/PI method
Cell cycle (PI)✓*✓*
Cell Apoptosis (Annexin V–FITC / PI)✓*✓*
Cell Apoptosis (Annexin V–FITC / PI / Hoechst)✓*
GFP Transfection
RFP Transfection
YFP Transfection
Cell Killing (CFSE / PI / Hoechst)
Antibody Affinity (FITC)
CD Marker Analysis (three channel)
FCS Express Softwareoptionaloptional

∗ Instrument can be used for this assay with the optional FCS software

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