CFArefer- Automatic table-top analyzer for cell force measurements

The Cell Force Analyzer (CFArefer) is a benchtop measuring device for cellular mechano-biological studies. It can be used to measure mechanical forces (tensions) of eukaryotic cell layers and their changes due to biochemical, pharmacological or mechanical influences with high precision. The measuring principle is based on an ultra-thin, flexible and biocompatible PDMS membrane that forms the base of a cell culture cylinder on which the cells are seeded: The CellDrumTM. In addition to biological applications, the measuring principle also enables non-biological material tests, precisely where surface tensions need to be measured.


  • [Pharmaceutical applications: Pharmaceutical and biochemical substances, dose-response, kinetic studies, reversibility.
  • Medical research: Hypertension, cardiovascular system, sepsis, bioavailability tests with patients' blood plasma, wound healing
  • Testing of non-biological material: Determination of the curing time of adhesives/dyes/sprays, polymer phase transition tests


  • Compact and versatile
  • Autoclavable and sterilizable
  • Precise temperature monitoring
  • Incubator safe components
  • Highly reproducible data
  • All adherent cell types can be analyzed
  • Fast measurement
  • Automated data analysis
  • Suitable for six consecutive measurements in one run

The measuring principle

The CFArefer determines the inverse modulus of elasticity (compliance) of the cultured cell layers on the CellDrumTM.

The highly flexible membrane mimics the soft mechanical "environment" of cells in tissues and creates almost physiological mechanical conditions for cell growth. The CFArefer determines the absolute mechanical stress and is therefore independent of the measurement method. It therefore serves as a reference method for all other, less defined "cell force" systems.

The measurements are performed in a controlled environment at 37°C.

By using soft, ultra-thin (a few µm) membranes to which the cell layers adhere and are cultivated, the membrane deflection reacts to induced, extremely small cell force changes in the sum of all cells in the cell layer. After cell cultivation and positioning of the CellDrumTM in the CFArefer, these measurements are carried out and evaluated semi-automatically.

Media and substance changes are possible at any time.

Our Services

We offer a range of services to provide you with the best possible support. These include workshops, training courses and telephone support.

Contract services

We offer chemically pre-functionalized CellDrumTM so that individual biological coating for optimized cell adhesion is possible, depending on the cell type to be used.

Based on our extensive experience, we also offer membranes with different thicknesses and biological coating formulations upon request.

Test visualization and control

The tests can be parameterized, documented and evaluated using the software supplied.

  • Selection of the CellDrums to be measured
  • Configuration and documentation of the test parameters
  • Setting the number of measurement repetitions
  • Diagrams with live data recording (diaphragm deflection (D), pressure (P) and P-D diagram)
  • Output of the measured diaphragm strain (Total Strain) and compliance (1/pa)
  • Post-processing for subsequent data evaluation and comparison with and measurement curves

Technical data

Sample volume 6 x 500 µl
Culture area 6 x 200 mm²
Measuring range pressure -125 to +125 Pa
Zero point accuracy 0.08 Pa
Accuracy 3% of measured value
Measuring time (6 CellDrums) 180 s
Calibration automatic
Temperature control 30 to 40°C (+/- 0.4 °C)
Size (H x W x D) 140 x 185 x 435 mm
Weight 7.2 kg