CFU Count App

Finding the right CFU count app can be a nightmare. After all, just because software has been designed to count bacterial colonies, doesn’t mean that software will do it perfectly or even well. The key is to find an app that is highly accurate, which you can typically tell in advance from reviews. Let’s run through the essentials.

Explaining CFUs

Colony forming units are commonly discussed in the field of biology to understand the way bacteria grows. While in microscopic investigations all cells are counted, alive or dead, in CFU counting, the interest lies in whether the colonies are growing, and under what conditions — nutrients, temperature, and time.

We call them colonies rather than cells, because we can’t be sure we are looking at individual cells when we look with the naked eye. And the best way to tell if the cells are viable and vital is to view them growing with the naked eye.

Viewed this way, we know they are continuing to grow and expand, rather than dying off.

Thus, we have decided that if we cannot see it with our eyes, it is not worthy of a count. Instead, we will wait until any single cell or mass of microscopic cells has grown to the size that we can see with our eyes to count it as a worthy CFU.

Traditional Method of Counting Colony Forming Units

The traditional method for counting CFU is to collect the sample from its source in a sanitary vessel and transport it to the lab under refrigeration, so it slows growth.

Then, when you’re ready to count the CFUs, you’ll want to dilute the sample. The reason for dilution is that a single swab of bacteria onto agar may hold more than 300 colony forming units, which can overrun the agar, overlap, and make the CFUs impossible to count.

Get access For Free to our comprehensive How to Count Colonies on Agar Plates PDF Guide (19 pages) put together by our specialists, Dr. Katja Schulze, who specialized in bioinformatics and image recognition of microscopic images, and Dr. Ulrich M. Tillich, who specialized in laboratory automation!

The norm is to dilute the original sample by a factor of 10, mixing 10 parts of filtered water or saline with 1 part of bacterial sample.

Then, the diluted sample is diluted again by another factor of 10, making it a factor of 100.

After each dilution, the vial should be gently shaken to mix the entire dilution well.

Ensure the agar has the nutrients required for the bacteria.

Then, with the final dilution, swab a sample from the vial and swab the agar plate with a cotton swab in a tight zigzag pattern, from edge to edge. Turn the plate 90 degrees, and then swipe the sample with the cotton swab in the same way, so the entire agar plate is covered.

Place the lid on top of the Petri dish and flip the dish upside down.

Incubate the bacteria at the temperature and for the time required by the sample you are working with.

Then, after the required time, remove the dish from the incubator and view the underside of the Petri dish with your naked eye. Count the number of CFUs you can see and mark it in the log.

At this point, you will also likely want to describe the way the colony forming units look and feel in terms of size, shape, texture, color, opacity.

Finally, you can continue to monitor the growth and changes of the CFUs over time and log those shifts as they appear.

CFU Counting Software in a CFU Counting App

Colony forming unit counting software saves hours of labor and the potential for tremendous human error that can make a world of difference.

The artificial intelligence software is designed to pick up the image of a Petri dish and count the number of CFUs you would see with your eyes in a matter of seconds. When well designed, these applications can be highly accurate in ways the human eye can never hope to be.

The most important factor when choosing a CFU counting app is to ensure the software design is indeed highly accurate and has been tried and tested to be without major flaws.

You can measure the accuracy of any CFU counting software by checking online reviews, having discussions with the manufacturer, and, of course, trying the application yourself.

To use these applications, you’ll follow all the instructions above, but instead of counting the CFUs with your eyes, you’ll take a picture of the Petri dish and upload it to the application. Then, within seconds, the application can return a count of the CFU and a description of the colonies as well, depending on the software.

The Oculyze CFU Count App

The Automated Colony Counter designed by the German company Oculyze has already been proven to be highly accurate, reliable and easy to use.

It works in three simple steps:

Step #1

Scan the QR code that came with the pre-poured plate or the dehydrated agar.

Step #2

The Web App (no installation required) gets loaded with the image recognition tailored to the specific type of plate being analyzed.

Step #3

Take an image with your smartphone, tablet, or desktop PC with an attached camera. The results are shown in less than a second.

Oculyze has come onto the market to offer a more intelligently designed and extremely accurate colony counting software. We’ve partnered up with agar plates producers to provide the simplest process and solution for lab people.

You can read more about this on our Colony Counter page. And next time you talk to your agar plates distributor, ask them about the possibility of integrating this service.

You can also Test our Colony Counter completely free of charge and with no commitment to purchase.

Just please note that the recognition provided here is solely for demonstration purposes and may not accurately represent the performance of our product. Our customers receive customized recognitions tailored to their specific needs, which ensures high levels of accuracy for their plates.


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