ImageXpress Micro 4 High-Content Imaging System - Automated Widefield Microscopy

Position your research – with breakthrough, intelligent imaging solutions.

ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content Imaging System


The NEW ImageXpress® Micro 4 High-Content Imaging System offers an agile solution enabling you to expedite your research.


The ImageXpress® Micro 4 High-Content Imaging System represents the culmination of four generations of imaging expertise. The latest agile design allows you to boost your research with this faster-than-ever system, while providing the option to upgrade to confocal in the future to align with your research needs.

Capture images of whole organism and cellular or intracellular events with the ImageXpress Micro 4 system configured to suit your specific biological needs.  We offer unlimited configurability with user exchangeable filter cubes, the widest range of objective lenses and environmental control, transmitted light, confocal imaging, and fluidics options.

Built on over 30 years of cell-based imaging experience, the ImageXpress Micro 4 High-Content Imaging system is engineered for performance to reliably accelerate the pace of your research

Agile System
Faster-thAn-ever, agile system, which grows with your needs.

4th Generation Platform with unlimited configurability, developed to address your research needs.

Focus on your biology.

The automated 5-position filter cube changer facilitates multiplex assays with up to five filter sets and four objectives for a single experiment.

Automated Filter Cube Changer
Acquire Statistically Relevant Data System
Acquire statistically relevant data faster with large field of view and >3 log dynamic range.

Minimize tiling effect and reduce your acquisition time with the ability to image a whole 384 well at once.

Expand your research capabilities with available options.

Available options include Environmental Control (temperature, humidity and CO2 control for multi-day live-cell experiments), Transmitted Light True Phase Contrast, Confocal Imaging (field upgradable), and Fluidics (on board disposable pipetting).

ImageXpress Micro Confocal High-content Imaging System

Investigate every aspect of a cellular pathway

Metaxpress High-content Image Acquisition and Analysis Software

Combined with MetaXpress High-Content Image Acquisition and Analysis Software, the ImageXpress Micro 4 system is an end-to-end solution that enables you to interpret your images, understand your data, and explore new ideas.

Automatically Acquire Images

Automatically acquire images 1-100x objective magnification in slides and multi-well plates up to 1536-well format. Acquire >245,000 wells per day at 4x magnification with the system’s unique multi-well crop feature. A 4x objective captures 11 mm2 of a 384-well plate to be imaged in one field-of-view while increasing magnifications allows the resolution of fine detail for analysis of subcellular events.


  • Determine the mechanisms of action for the research of cancer, neurological disorders, viral infection, and other diseases with compound or RNAi screening 
  • Quantitate multiplexed cellular responses, such as apoptosis, cell cycle, micronuclei, neurite outgrowth, angiogenesis, intracellular translocation, endocytosis, and cell signaling
  • Detect one to four fluorescent markers along with the ability to resolve their colocalization

ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content Screening System

Unstimulated transfluor-expressing cells wtih cytosolic distribution of beta arrestin GFP. Nuclei stained in blue, mitochondria in red.

ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content Beta-arrestin GFP System

Stimulated transfluor-expressing cells with beta-arrestin GFP that has redistributed to vesicles. Nuclei stained in blue, Mitochondria in red.

Further Information

Visit the MetaXpress Software Application Modules to learn more about analysis for cell health, cell cycle, micronuclei, neurite outgrowth, angiogenesis, translocation, multi-wavelength cell scoring and granularity.

RNA Interference

  • Interrogate large-scale RNAi libraries
  • Measure critical events including apoptosis, cell cycle, micronuclei, neurite outgrowth, angiogenesis, intracellular translocation, endocytosis, cell signaling, and multi-wavelength cell scoring. 
  • Automatically identify, segment, and analyze biological phenotypes using validated software modules

RNA Interference

Images of control cells showing DNA damage detected by H2AX phosphorylation. The positive control (bottom) clearly shows a higher percentage of cells with DNA damage (green) compared to total cells (red) in the well.

Further Information

Stem Cell Research

  • Measure stem cell growth and differentiation in layers or colonies with the system's widefield focusing capabilities, brightfield imaging option, and environmental control chamber for extended period of time
  • Accurately track cell processes, colony size or number across multiple fields of view with unique stitching algorithm and precise plate stage movements
  • Gain insight into the complex molecular and genetic signaling events that underlie cell proliferation and differentiation
  • Accurately measure nuronal process across multiple fields of view using unique stitching algorithm with precise stage movements
  • Analyze 3D samples by capturing an image stack in the Z-plane within each field of view and collapse it into a best-focus image or view the sample in 3D
ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content Stem Cell Research System
Differentiated neurons imaged in a 96-well
plate at 10x magnification with three different
fluorescent markers

Further Information

Live Cells

  • Monitor cell growth, death, differentiation, and migration; viral or bacterial invasion, cancer metastasis, chemotaxis, drug toxicity, or translocation
  • Observe rapid kinetic cellular responses over a span of several days using fluorescent or unlabeled cells kept in an environmental control chamber, together with a brightfield microscope, and on-board fluid addition capabilities


Watch a 30-hour time-course movie of increasing apoptotic and dead HeLa cells after treatment with 100 µm Etoposide. Blue = Hoechst for all nuclei; Red = Propidium Iodide for dead cells; Green = Nucview488, a fluorescence substrate for Caspase 3 and an apoptosis sensor. Overlaid on a phase contrast image..

Whole Organism Imaging

  • Image an entire well
  • Keep organisms in focus for the duration of experiment
  • Perform sophisticated analysis of images and create time-lapse videos

3D Imaging

ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content 3D Imaging System

  • Monitor cell health kinetics under environmental control for hours or days
  • Reconstruct 3D spheroids with rapid z-stack imaging
  • Study spheroids with readily available plates and straightforward imaging workflow
  • Acquire from a variety of multi-well plate formats up to 1536 including unusual formats developed for 3D assays including round bottom and trans-well plates 

ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content 3D Assays

Further Information

Thick samples

  • Image neurons or stem cells grown on 3D matrices that can make focusing on the cells of interest a challenge  
  • Capture difficult-to-image thick tissue sections (at least 20 µm thick) that produce high-background fluorescence when stained
  • Analyze 3D samples by collecting a stack of crisp images in the Z-plane in as small as 100 nm increments

ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content Thick Samples System

Neuronal processes can be measured and quantified with a Neurite Outgrowth Application Module in MetaXpress Software.


Mouse Intestine Section Stained

Mouse Intestine section stained for nuclei (green), filamentous actin prevalent in the brush border (red), goblet cells (blue)

Further Information

Visit the MetaXpress Software Application Modules to learn more about analysis for neurite outgrowth and angiogenesis application modules.

Homogeneous Binding Assay

  • Multiplex different cells in the same plate well
  • Run assays with adherent cells, suspension cells, or beads
  • Detect fluorescent labels at any wavelength

Click here to learn more about MetaXpress Application Modules that enable some common HCS assays.

Molecular Devices brings the image acquisition and analysis for ImageXpress systems under one common platform to streamline workflow, offering a truly end-to-end solution for high-content screening.

MetaXpress® High-Content Image Acquisition & Analysis Software

  • MetaXpress Software Application Modules: turnkey solutions for your 100 most common analysis routines
  • MetaXpress Software Custom Modules: flexible toolbox for advanced assays, including 3D structure analysis with volume, intensity, and distance measurements.
  • MetaXpress Software Journals: powerful macros to analyze unique applications

AcuityXpress High-Content Informatics Software further analyzes, visualizes, and mines data.

MetaXpress® PowerCore High-Content Distributed Image Analysis Software dramatically accelerates analysis speed in a high-throughput environment.

MDCStore Data Management Solution provides users with a validated solution to securely access, manage, and depoly a high-content analysis environment.

The ImageXpress Micro  4 High-Content Imaging System offers researchers an agile imaging platform with field upgradeable confocal imaging.  For more details on the confocal system, please click here.

Additionally users can configure the instrument to fit their specific research.

For more information on product configurations and pricing, please click here.

Widefield Light Source Options

  • Solid state white-light engine with long lifetime, suitable for most fluorescent applications
    • Lifetime: 20,000 hrs. Wavelength: 380-680 nm
    • Included in ImageXpress Micro Imaging systems
  • Broad spectrum long-life light source is suitable for most fluorescent applications, 10 position filter wheel included for ratio imaging (Fura-2; BCECF). Compatible with multi-pass excitation cubes for additional flexibility and speed.
    • Lifetime: 10,000+ hrs. Wavelength: 340-680 nm
    • Optional upgrade for ImageXpress Micro 4 system. 
    • Filter Wheel Features
      • 10 position excitation filter wheel increases the number of preconfigured filters installed with systems to support multi-pass dichroic and emission filters in core facilities with a large variety of fluorophores in use.
      • Fast filter exchange is ideal for exciting ratiometric indicators (e.g. Fura-2; BCECF) to monitor fast cellular responses and real-time kinetics indicative of ion exchange and intracellular signaling.
    • Filter Wheel Specifications
      • Controller drives one filter wheel
      • Wheel can hold up to 10 excitation filters
      • Switching times of up to 40msec between adjacent filters
      • User adjustable speed allows the speed to load matching
      • Wheel is inserted into the light source so additional space is not required
  • Near-IR optimized solid state whitelight engine with long lifetime, suitable for most fluorescent applications enhanced for near-IR application like Cy7
    • Lifetime: 10,000+ hrs. Wavelength: 380-770 nm
    • Optional upgrade for ImageXpress Micro 4 system
  • Configurable solid state light engine is a customizable excitation source with independent control of up to 7 wavelengths. It expands flexibility of wavelength selection and is compatible with multi-pass excitation cubes for additional throughput and speed.
    • Lifetime: 10,000+ hrs. Wavelength: Customizable 380 nm to NIR
    • Optional upgrade for ImageXpress Micro 4 system

Transmitted Light

ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content Transmitted Light System
The ImageXpress Micro 4 High-Content Imaging System enables contrast imaging of unstained samples to monitor cells that may be overly sensitive to the effects of fluorescent labels or need to be monitored over time without intervention. The Phase Contrast option can be used to scrutinize cell quality before and after biochemical assays, or combined with fluorescent applications and environmental control to examine multiple parameters at once.


  • Phase optics enable high contrast, label-free cellular imaging to be performed at a variety of magnifications (4x -60x)
  • Overlay fluorescent images on unstained images gives the user another fluorophore independent visualization of cell morphology


  • Nikon 100w Pillar Diascopic Illuminator with TE-C ELWD Condenser
  • The condenser is 0.3NA with 65 mm WD and PhL, Ph1, and Ph2 selectable phase rings
  • Phase Contrast option is compatible with Environmental Control, but not with Fluidics Option

Environmental Control

ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content Environmental Control System
The Environmental Control Option for the ImageXpress Micro 4 High-Content Imaging System can be configured to mimic conditions within a laboratory incubator (temperature control, gas mixture and humidity) to keep cells alive for long periods of time, making high-content screening kinetic and time lapse experiments a reality.


  • User-defined premixed air allows researchers to select atmospheric conditions most appropriate for their cell type (e.g. 5% or 10% CO2).
  • Temperature control of the sample plate helps maintain physiological environment.
  • Humidity regulation is maintained above sample plate to minimize evaporation of media and extend measurement time.
  • Our high resolution stage and environmental control enable fast kinetic imaging of live cells or long time lapse monitoring of each well in a plate for hours or days.


  • Accepts pressurized air from premixed tanks
  • Temperature maintained in top half of instrument: 30-40°C ± 0.5°C
  • Temperature measured near the sample plate is recorded and stored with each image in software
  • Humidity maintained above plate; evaporation < 0.5 μL/well/hour (96- or 384-well formats)
  • Compatible with Fluidics or Phase Contrast Transmitted Light options


ImageXpress Micro 4 High-content Fluidics System
During assay development, the Fluidics option facilitates compound addition and cell washing to characterize potency or to determine incubation times for higher throughput fixed time point assays. 


  • Configurable pipettor can accommodate 96- or 384-well pipette tips, compound plates and sample plates giving you the flexibility to change assay formats when you wish
  • Tip exchange option minimizes cross contamination often seen with non-contact, piezo- or pin tool-based fluidics systems
  • Integrated pipettor (3-200 µL) facilitates media replenishment or compound addition to individual wells within a microplate. Media replenishment can extend the time frame of long time lapse experiments and overcome any evaporation that may occur over time
  • Custom Light Source option can be combined with liquid handling to monitor dual-excitation wavelength intracellular ion concentration measurements (e.g. calcium, pH) to provide greater insight to ion exchange and intracellular function


  • Single-channel pipetting
  • Dispenses volumes from 3 μL to 200 μL 
  • ±1 from 3 μL to 20 μL ±5% from 20 μL to 200 μL
  • Holds two compound or media plates with optional heating
  • 96- or 384-well format FLIPR® tips
  • Comes standard with Environmental Control option
  • Not compatible with Phase Contrast Transmitted Light option


  • 4.66 megapixel scientific CMOS


  • Optically-encoded Liner voice coil driven stages with encoders that measure position with better than 25nm resolution to achieve high accuracy and precision in X, Y, and Z axes


  • Variety of Nikon 1x- 100x air and oil immersion lenses are supported.

Standard Filter Options

Part Number
Ex (nm) Dichroic (nm) EM (nm)
DAPI, Alexa Fluor 350, AMCA, BFP, Hoechst, LysoSensor Blue, Marina Blue, Pacific Blue, and sgBFP

Obsolete August 2016
327-404 (R)
415-950 (T)
CFP, AmCyan, SYTOX Blue, BOBO-1, BO-PRO-1
426-450 (R)
467-950 (T)
GFP, Cy2™, CyQuant, DiO, EGFP, sgGFP™, wtGFP (non-UV excitation), YOYO-1, YO-PRO-1
350-488 (R)
502-950 (T)
FITC, FAM, Alexa Fluor 488, BODIPY, Calcein, Fluo-4, MitoTracker Green, Oregon Green, Rhodamine 110, rsGFP (red-shifted GFP, S65T)
350-500 (R)
513-950 (T)
YFP, Calcium Green-1, Eosin, Fluo-3, Rhodamine 123
350-512 (R)
528-950 (T)
TRITC, Alexa Fluor 546, 5-TAMRA, Alexa Fluor 532, SpectrumOrange™, BODIPY TMR, DiI, POPO-3, PO-PRO-3, Rhodamine
350-555 (R)
569-950 (T)
Cy3™, DsRed, Alexa Fluor 555, Calcium Orange, LysoTracker Yellow, MitoTracker Orange, Phycoerythrin (PE), Rhodamine Phallicidine, and TAMRA  
350-555 (R)
569-950 (T)
Texas Red®, mCherry, 5-ROX, Alexa Fluor 568 & 594, Calcium Crimson, Cy3.5™, HcRed, Propidium Iodide, and MitoTracker Red  
350-585 (R)
601-950 (T)
Cy5™, SpectrumFRed™, Alexa Fluor 647 & 660, APC (Allophycocyanin), BODIPY 650/665, DiD, SYTO Red, DRAQ5, TOTO-3, and TO-PRO-3  
350-651 (R)
FITC, FAM, Alexa, Fluor 488, BODIPY, Calcein, Fluo-4, MitoTracker Green, Oregon Green, Rhodamine 110, rsGFP (red-shift GFP, S65T)
(system shipped after August 2017)

Additional filters as well as custom configurations are available upon request. 
Filter specifications are current as of 9/1/2015. 

Space And Weight Specifications

ImageXpress Micro 4 system configuration
W x D x H
ImageXpress Micro Base Unit System
21 x 34 x 19 (Inches)
53 x 86 x 48 (Centimeters)
215 (Lbs)
95 (Kg)
Transmitted Light and Live Cell (Environmental Control)
21 x 34 x 32 (Inches)
53 x 86 x 81 (Centimeters)
220 (Lbs)
100 (Kg)
Live Cell (Environmental Control) and Fluidics
21 x 34 x 42 (Inches)
53 x 86 x 107 (Centimeters)
295 (Lbs)
134 (Kg)
Transmitted Light
21 x 34 x 32 (Inches)
53 x 86 x 81 (Centimeters)
220 (Lbs)
100 (Kg)
Live Cell (Environmental Control)
21 x 34 x 19 (Inches)
53 x 86 x 48 (Centimeters)
210 (Lbs)
95 (Kg)

Related Collateral


Application Notes:

Though the technical specifications of the ImageXpress Micro 4 system are different than that of our legacy ImageXpress system products, the widefield mode covers the same applications as the legacy widefield only products.


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Number of Citations*: 803

Latest Citations:

For a complete list of citations, please click here.

Brief Report: Isogenic Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines From an Adult With Mosaic Down Syndrome Model Accelerated Neuronal Ageing and …

A Murray, A Letourneau, C Canzonetta, E Stathaki… - Stem …, 2015 - Wiley Online Library
... Image capture and quantification were performed using automated multiparametric
analysis on the ImageXpress Micro XL (Molecular Devices) wide-field high content
imaging system, and data were analyzed using MetaMorph software. ...

Behavioral and pharmacological characteristics of bortezomib-induced peripheral neuropathy in rats

S Yamamoto, T Kawashiri, H Higuchi… - Journal of …, 2015 - Elsevier
... F-actin and nuclear staining were visualized using ImageXpress Micro XL (Molecular Devices,
LLC ... CA, USA), and neurite length was measured by analysis software (MetaXpressMolecular
Devices, LLC). 2.9. ... myelin sheath thickness, and g-ratio (the ratio of axon diameter to ...

Identification of N‐arachidonoyl dopamine as a highly biased ligand at cannabinoid CB1 receptors

WJ Redmond, EE Cawston, NL Grimsey… - British journal of …, 2015 - Wiley Online Library
... CB1 receptor cell surface expression Surface hCB1 expression was determined utilising a live
cell antibody feeding technique and quantified via the ImageXpress Micro XLS automated
fluorescent microscope (Molecular Devices) as previously described (Grimsey et al., 2008). ...

cAMP and EPAC Signaling Functionally Replace OCT4 During Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Reprogramming

AL Fritz, MM Adil, SR Mao, DV Schaffer - Molecular Therapy, 2015 -
... The wells were imaged with the ImageXpress Micro (Molecular Devices) and analyzed with
MetaXpress software. ... The SOX2 and EdU staining was imaged with the ImageXpress Micro
(Molecular Devices) and analyzed with MetaXpress software. Quantitative RT-PCR. ...

A genome-wide RNAi screening method to discover novel genes involved in virus infection

D Panda, S Cherry - Methods, 2015 - Elsevier
... Plate sealing adhesive film. 2.1.5. Automated imaging and image processing.
ImageXpress Micro (Molecular Devices). Metaxpress software (Molecular Devices).
2.2. Acquiring images using the ImageXpress Micro and image analysis. ...

Triphenyl phosphate-induced developmental toxicity in zebrafish: Potential role of the retinoic acid receptor

GM Isales, RA Hipszer, TD Raftery, A Chen… - Aquatic Toxicology, 2015 - Elsevier
... Micro system was maintained between 25 and 27 °C by removing panels on both sides of the
ImageXpress Micro system and blowing air from left to right through the ImageXpress Micro with
... Within MetaXpress software (Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA, USA ...

High Throughput Characterization of Adult Stem Cells Engineered for Delivery of Therapeutic Factors for Neuroprotective Strategies

AD SharmaPA Brodskiy, EM Petersen… - JoVE (Journal of …, 2015 -
... Equine serum, Hyclone (Logan, UT), SH3007403, ImageXpress MicroMolecular devices
(Sunnyvale, CA), ImageXpress micro, High content screening system. MetaXpress 4.0, Molecular
devices (Sunnyvale, CA), MetaXpress 4.0, Image acquisition and analysis software. References ...

[HTML] A Genome-Wide siRNA Screen in Mammalian Cells for Regulators of S6 Phosphorylation

A Papageorgiou, J Rapley, JP Mesirov, P Tamayo… - PloS one, 2015 -
... cells were imaged on the High Content automated Imaging microscope ImageXpress Micro
System (IXM) (Molecular Devices, at 10X magnification (Fig.
1) and analyzed using the MetaXpress software program (Molecular Devices Inc). ...

Fibroblast activation protein-α-expressing fibroblasts promote the progression of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

T Kawase, Y Yasui, S Nishina, Y Hara… - BMC …, 2015 -
... Plates containing the cells were scanned with the ImageXpress Micro Screening System
(Molecular Devices, Tokyo, Japan). ... analyses, the intensity of the integrated DNA dye was assessed
using the cell-cycle application module (MetaXpressMolecular Devices), as described ...

Chemical analysis of Karenia papilionacea

N Fowler, C Tomas, D Baden, L Campbell… - Toxicon, 2015 - Elsevier
... plate was then returned to the 37 °C incubator for 30 min before imaging on an Image Xpress
Micro system equipped ... Cytotoxicity of each fraction was determined using the ImageXpress Micro
(Molecular Devices, Sunnyvale, CA) using the multi-wavelength cell scoring macro. ...

* as of October 27, 2015. Source: Google Scholar.  Search results include "ImageXpress Micro" and "MetaXpress".  

Specifications for the ImageXpress Micro Confocal (widefield mode) are based upon those of the ImageXpress Micro System.  Applications will apply to both systems.