Perkin Elmer – Columbus Presentation

Today we have a presentation by PerkinElmer about their Columbus imange management system. Columbus builds on the Open Microscopy Environment (OME) set of tools, especially OMERO and the Bioformats library. It is capable of dealing with HTS data as well. Columbus provides image management by plate barcode, web interface showing thumbnails, including the acapella cell finding tool, etc. They claim to provide Columbus also as ‘Software as a Service’ solution, but cannot give numbers about remote data upload and remote data storage yet.

Basically the way this looked to me is that Columbus is a very nice well-done tool to look at individual plates and analyze them using some cell classification written in their own tool that depends on pipeline pilot.

They depend on OMERO to keep track of their data. Metadata on images is stored in xml files that are also tracked by OMERO. Since metadata is not kept in a db, they do not support filtering and searches on that, so this is a definite big weakness.

Concering large batch analysis of many plates the presenter gave me the impression that they have not considered that use case yet and do not intend to do so in the near future.

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