The 3D Cell Explorer

Take your cell research to the next dimension


The 3D Cell Explorer

Visualize and discover your cells and tissues in their natural environment. Change the way you do research and look instantly inside living cells in 3D without toxic and expensive reagents. The 3D Cell Explorer allows you to investigate your living cells (bacteria, yeast, protozoa, mammalian) and tissues in real-time and in 3D.

Our holographic tomographic system is a powerful and easy solution to analyze the 3D Refractive Index signature of cells based on the density of their inner structures.

The 3D Cell Explorer is a Plug & Play standalone system and it is compatible with a top stage incubator.

The full version of the software STEVE, an intuitive and comprehensive tool to explore your cell data, is included. 


  • Are you interested in 3D cell imaging for long time-period without worrying about bleaching or phototoxicity?
  • Do you want to get rid of chemical markers?


With the 3D Cell Explorer you can…

Analyze the cell’s inner structure and sub-structure in a non-invasive way

Explore and measure cell organelles with unprecedented detail and resolution, marker-free and preparation-free based on their own physical density.

Study cell life cycle processes of growth, division & death in 3D and 4D

Monitor all cell compartments and their kinetics and dynamics in real-time at every second without interfering with natural functioning.

Keep your sample healthy as long as you need

Thanks to a dedicated top-stage incubator you can keep your cells in a controlled environment and physiological conditions while imaging them.

Mouse embryonic stem cells during mitosis. Cell metrics and DNA condensation can be monitored during the whole process.


Perform label-free non-invasive accurate and quantitative 3D morphological & 4D spatio-temporal monitoring of living single cells and cell cultures at every second.


Nanolive’s proprietary digital stain allows the discrimination of different cell types in a co-culture based on their specific refractive index (RI) signature.

Mouse melanoma cells (B16) incubated with dictyostelium amoebae cells. The ΔRI 0.015 between the two cell types allows for segmentation of each cell populations. On the right panel three amoeba cells were zoomed to appreciate the resolution of the system (x,y= 180 nm; z= 400nm) and the lateral view.

 ID8-ova cells (ID8 murine ovaria tumor cell line transduced with ovalbumin) incubated with T-cells.


Unveil the secrets of cell-cell interaction, host-pathogen infection, phagocytosis, micro-organism internalization & intracellular 3D localization.


Perform marker-free analysis of liquid biopsies, tissue & cell samples saving precious time and reducing sample manipulations.


Whole blood sample spiked with A549 lung cancer cells and enriched for CTCs. *PBMC: peripheral blood mononuclear cells

Why the 3D Cell Explorer

Instant preparation-free and staining-free imaging

Are you tired of preparing and staining your samples? Our disruptive technology allows, for the first time, to explore instantly a live cell in 3D without any labeling or chemical marker. No fixation + No labeling = No alteration of cells’ normal physiology!

Infinite live cell imaging

Get rid of bleaching and photo-toxicity: The 3D Cell Explorer uses a low power green laser light. Observe your living cells as long as you need in their natural state with a compatible top stage incubator.

Quantitative 3D/4D cell data

The 3D Cell Explorer measures the quantitative refractive index of each cell’s organelle at every second. Segment this data in 3D using our interactive digital stains based on the cell’s physical refractive index.

Accessible sample stage

Built to offer you all the space you need to work with a top stage incubator, microfluidic devices, micropipettor and many more.


You want to be a pioneer in science? The 3D Cell Explorer is a tool for discovery and we are just at the beginning of exploring all the potential fields of application!

Technical Features 3D Cell Explorer

Resolution  Δx,y = 200nm; Δz = 400nm
Field of View 85 x 85 x 30 μm
Tomography frame rate 0.5 fps 3D image rate with full self-adjustement
Microscope Objective Air with 60x magnification
Illumination Source Class 1 laser low power (λ=520 nm, sample exposure 0.2 mW/mm2)
Accessible Sample Stage 60 mm of free access to the sample stage for sample manipulation
Dimensions 38 cm x 17 cm x 45 cm