About ACEA Biosciences

Our mission, history, and opportunities.


Mission Statement

ACEA Biosciences’ mission is to provide innovative high performance technologies that advance scientific discovery and improve healthcare.

Company Overview

Founded in 2002, ACEA Biosciences, Inc. is a privately owned biotechnology company that is pioneering the development and commercialization of high performance, cutting edge cell analysis instruments for life science research and clinical diagnostics.

Employing noninvasive impedance microelectrodes in automated high-throughput plate formats, our xCELLigence® Real-Time Cell Analysis (RTCA) instruments maximize the physiological relevance of data extracted from in vitro cellular assays. These instruments enable label-free, real-time monitoring of cell proliferation, cell size/morphology, cell-substrate attachment quality, and cell invasion/migration. By eliminating the time- and labor-intensive steps of traditional methods, RTCA vastly improves efficiency and overall productivity. Moreover, the flexibility, sensitivity, and reproducibility of RTCA make it a standout amongst cell-based assay platforms.

ACEA is also helping to revolutionize the field of flow cytometry by designing and producing high performance, customizable benchtop cytometers at accessible price points. By including features such as 13 fluorescence detection channels with 3 lasers, direct volumetric based cell counting, and a versatile high throughput walkaway autosampler, ACEA’s line of NovoCyte® flow cytometers is raising the bar for what is expected of benchtop machines.

xCELLigence® and NovoCyte® instruments are currently being used worldwide in academic, industrial, and hospital labs for preclinical drug discovery and development, toxicology, safety pharmacology, disease studies, clinical diagnostics, and basic research.


2002 | Origins

ACEA Biosciences®, Inc (ACEA) is founded in San Diego, California, USA. Initial efforts are focused on developing and commercializing an impedance-based system (both instrument and consumables) for label-free, real-time, quantitative analysis of cell proliferation, cell size/morphology, and cell-substrate attachment quality.

2004 | First Instrument

ACEA launches its first Real-Time Cell Electronic Sensing (RT-CES®) system for cell-based assays.

2007 | Partnering with Roche

Roche and ACEA enter an exclusive worldwide license agreement, which lasted through 2012, for the development, supply, and distribution of ACEA’s RT-CES® system. RT-CES® is rebranded as xCELLigence® Real Time Cell Analysis (RTCA).

2008 | Unveiling xCELLigence

The first xCELLigence® RTCA system is officially launched. The xCELLigence® RTCA SP (single plate) system utilizes a 96-well electronic microtiter plate (E-Plate®).

2009 | Capturing Cell Invasion/Migration and Increasing Throughput

Two new systems are launched. The xCELLigence® RTCA DP (dual purpose) system has all of the standard RTCA functionality but with the added ability to monitor cell invasion and migration in real-time using a CIM-Plate® (an electronic Boyden chamber). The xCELLigence® RTCA MP (multiple plate) system supports up to six 96-well E-Plates® which can be controlled and monitored simultaneously yet independently of one another, allowing maximal productivity for multiple users.

2010 | Tracking Cardiomyocytes and Maximizing Throughput

Two additional systems are launched. By measuring impedance on the millisecond time scale, the xCELLigence® RTCA Cardio system is able to monitor the contractile activity of beating cardiomyocytes. The xCELLigence® RTCA HT (high throughput) system employs a 384-well E-Plate® to facilitate large drug discovery and safety screening campaigns.

2012 | Going Wireless with Bigger Wells

ACEA launches the smaller-sized RTCA iCELLigence system for cell quality control and assay optimization. This system utilizes the same RTCA impedance technology but uses Wi-Fi for data transfer and employs plates whose larger wells provide enough cells for complementary assays including western blotting, sequencing analyses, FACS, imaging, etc.

2014 | A Revolutionary Flow Cytometer

ACEA develops and launches the groundbreaking NovoCyte® Flow Cytometer. This bench-top cytometer offers up to 3 lasers with 13 color detection, direct volumetric-based cell counting, a flexible high throughput autosampler, and automatic cleaning/decontamination functions at an exceptional price point.

2014 | Cardiomyocyte Contractility and Electrophysiology

In response to the FDA CiPA initiative and the longstanding need for more predictive preclinical assays of cardiac liability, ACEA introduces its 2nd generation cardio system – the xCELLigence® RTCA CardioECR (Extra Cellular Recording). This is the first instrument to combine a high rate of impedance data acquisition (1 millisecond) with field potential measurement (10 kHz) and a pacing stimulus to enable simultaneous monitoring of cardiomyocyte contractility, viability, and electrophysiology.

2018 | New 16-well Format for xCELLigence

ACEA introduces the xCELLigence® RTCA S16 instrument, an alternate product to the previous iCELLigence instrument with enhanced power and performance. The RTCA S16 uses the same impedance technology as the other xCELLigence instruments, in a compact and convenient 16-well format. With the release of the new RTCA S16, ACEA also released the compatible software, RTCA Software Lite.

2018 | Powerful 4 Laser, 25 Color Flow Cytometer

NovoCyte Quanteon Flow Cytometer was launched by ACEA as their 2nd generation flow cytometer. With 4 lasers and up to 25 colors, Quanteon added more color detection and sensitivity while keeping true to the beloved features of the original NovoCyte, with the automated shut down and cleaning, ease of use, and improved autosampler. An updated version of the top-rated software was also released as NovoExpress v1.3.

2019 | Biosensor Technology Meets Live Cell Imaging

The xCELLigence RTCA eSight is a dual function cell analyzer, first of its kind. It introduces a revolutionary concept in cell analysis combining the best of non-invasive biosensor monitoring with live cell imaging. With one easy experiment, you get two vantage points into cell behavior to gain greater confidence in the information collected.