Cells in Focus—the ibidi Philosophy Explained

How We Make Scientists Successful Beyond Providing Products for Research

Conducting a successful, cell-based assay on the microscope can be quite a challenge. There are many factors to consider, and it's often the little things that make the difference between a good and a bad experimental result. When it comes to imaging during cell-based assays, researchers often tend to focus on the most obvious (and biggest and most expensive) tool: the microscope! It is, of course, important that the microscope fulfills certain technical prerequisites required for the specific biological assay being used (e.g., high-speed camera for imaging fast biological processes or an objective with high N/A for resolving structural cellular details). However, it's also essential to pay careful attention to the actual stars of the show: the cells. Because, let's be honest, they can be real divas!


This is where the ibidi philosophy comes into play. We believe that keeping cells happy throughout the whole experimental process is the key to a successful outcome, and because of this, we think it's best to always follow a certain set of principles. These principles are:

  1. Pay careful attention to cell cultivation and sample preparation. This sets the basis for the quality and outcome of the experimental results.
  2. Choose an appropriate culture vessel geometry and the right surface, which will depend on the cell type and microscopy technique being used. This has an important influence on the reproducibility and significance of the experiment.
  3. Cultivate and image cells under in vivo -like conditions. Controlling the environmental conditions is essential for recording data that is free of physiological artefacts, and is an important criterion for robust results.
  4. Analyze data automatically. This allows for an unbiased, quantitative experimental readout.

We keep these principles in mind not only when we develop and design our tools and instruments, but also when we provide individual support through our highly experienced tech support team, or when we create digital resources that help the researchers help themselves. In fact, our goal is to guide the researcher through each step of the experimental workflow, in order to make sure that our tools and products are handled properly, and that the results are optimized.

Let's take a closer look at these individual steps and find out how ibidi can support you in the best possible way.

ibidi Application Specialists Christiane and Michael consulting conference participants on ibidi products and assays at the International Cell Culture Under Flow Meeting, 2020.

Experiment Planning: Getting Inspired and Choosing the Right Tools

Careful experiment planning is probably the most important step in the whole process. Each experiment starts with a specific research question and generally more than one possible way to tackle it. When considering solutions, certain methods are often already established in a lab. However, sometimes the researcher wants to, or has to, come up with his/her own approach, especially when there are new and more innovative techniques available. Of course, screening papers and searching the internet are common ways to spark ideas, but did you know that you can also find a lot of inspiration inside the ibidi universe?

Let's start with the ibidi website. Not only does it list all available ibidi products, but also contains valuable resources to help you find the right approach to address your research questions. For example, our application sites are dedicated to specific biological processes, such as chemotaxis or 3D cell culture, and even cover whole research fields such as cancer research. On these sites, you will find a comprehensive introduction to the respective topic including an overview of the experimental workflow, tips and tools on how to analyze the data, and experimental examples. The entire content of our application sites is also available as downloadable, PDF-format application guides.

Application site examples on the ibidi website

If you are more of an audio-visual person, the website also offers great inspiration in the form of webinars. In these, we cover diverse topics starting with experimental basics, such as a discussion about "Design Matters! Tips for Preparing Microscopy Samples," then work our way up to more complex matters, as found in our webinar, "Advanced Cell Culture Under Flow – Dynamic 3D Applications".

If you have a more complex research question, or can't find an answer on our website, don't hesitate to reach out to our application specialists! They are happy to discuss your ideas in person, and help you to find the perfect method and the right tools for your approach.

Experiment Setup and Execution: We'll Guide You Through the Workflow

Experimental Workflow Example (Cell Culture Under Flow Assay)

Once you have decided on the method and the tools that best suit your research, it's time to setup the actual workflow. We know this can be tricky, especially when the tools and assays become more complex. If you are familiar with the µ-Slide Chemotaxis, you know what we are talking about. That's why we have put a lot of thought and energy into creating resources that will help our customers use our products in the best possible way, and achieve the quality of results they expect.

For example, every product comes with detailed instructions on how to use it and what to pay attention to. Our application notes provide detailed protocols to help you properly setup, conduct, and analyze a specific experiment. Check out our most popular application note, AN 08, "Coating Protocols for ibidi Labware Products".

If you find you are struggling to quantify the results of your experiment, check out our image analysis software. We offer automated and manual analysis solutions for cell migration, angiogenesis, and migration assays. Additionally, we provide hands-on online and in-house courses to teach our customers how to successfully conduct our more complex cell culture under flow and chemotaxis assays.

ibidi inhouse Chemotaxis Course 2019

"Thank you very much for organizing the training course. It was very helpful. We all enjoyed the course very much and I felt I was energized after attending this training. A big special thank you for letting me rediscover the great value of the ibidi website."

Jing Zhao Garland, University of Cambridge, UK

Troubleshooting: Don't Worry, ibidi is Here for You

Let's be real, sometimes experiments, products, or instruments fail! Whether this is because of an application error or material malfunction, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the reason. If you experience any trouble with your assays or products, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our technical support team is happy to help, and can be contacted via phone, contact form, or through our website chat.

In addition, our online platform ibidi HelpDesk provides a comprehensive collection of answers to frequently asked questions, as well as a forum (ibidi Community) where scientists can interact and discuss ibidi-related topics with peers and the ibidi team.

What Else Have We Got Planned?

Currently, we are working on a series of short video clips that will explain the essential basics required for a successful cell-based assay on the microscope. The first movies, "Meniscus in Phase Contrast Microscopy," "Phase Contrast Microscopy," and "Köhler Illumination" are already in production. Subscribe to the ibidi YouTube channel so that you won't miss their releases.

Since ibidi started, keeping in touch with the science community has always been extremely important to us. In fact, many ibidi employees have worked in academic research labs before joining our team! In addition to all the ways we can interact with you virtually, we are ramping up our plans for in-person events, which will include the return of seminars, workshops, conferences, and trade shows. We look forward to seeing you!

Get in Touch With Us

We are always looking for scientists who are willing to collaborate with us not only on R&D projects and Beta-testing, but also by writing application notes and blog articles. If you are interested, please get in touch: [email protected]

Don't forget that you can reach out to us through our social media channels:

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Do you have any ideas for improving your "ibidi experience"? Feel free to contact us!

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