Dear Ciliate Researchers,

I reported at the recent FASEB Ciliate Molecular Biology that I have designed a new mechanical cell immobilizer that is similar to an earlier design by Dr. Karl Aufderheide at Texas A&M University.  I used his model during my graduate work and I was able to obtain high-resolution images of living cells that ultimately led to the discovery of a new organelle, the conjusome, in mating Tetrahymena.  The new device, named the Commodore Compressor, has several improvements and is available for purchase at:

This compressor is easier to use and align, more durable, and works on both upright and inverted microscopes for high resolution light and fluorescence  microscopy. In collaboration with the Vanderbilt University machine shop, I made just over 100 of them and I have 75 available.  Mass producing the devices dropped the price per unit for the dozen that my laboratory purchased. However, I also made extra units because I believe that many others within the Ciliate community and elsewhere will find the devices invaluable for live cell imaging.   We have found them indispensible for live cell epi-fluorescence and confocal imaging, bleaching studies (FRAP), and for evanescent wave microscopy (TIRFM).
The price is $1500.00 per unit, with discounts for multiple orders.  One unit consists of a fully functional compressor unit, several backup cover slips and slides (all commercially available), and a tool for adjusting the compressor mount.
My lab may also be interested in collaborating with groups wishing to perform perfusion. We have custom-designed microfluidics in PDMS and glass that can be incorporated into the device for those that are interested in media perfusion or adding drugs or chemicals to immobilized cells.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Chris Janetopoulos

Assistant Professor

Departments of Biological Sciences and

Cell & Developmental Biology

Vanderbilt University


465 21st Ave South

Nashville, TN 37232
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tel 615 936 8907

fax 615 343 6707