ProtoCOL 3 Automated Colony Counter – Fast, Accurate, Reproducible

ProtoCOL 3 Automated Colony Counter | Medical Supply Company

As all microbiologists know, counting bacterial colonies manually can be a monotonous and eye-straining task. To overcome this, many labs are looking towards automation to cut down on the time spent manually counting and free up the technician’s time for other tasks. ProtoCOL 3 is a next-generation automatic colony counter for regulated labs that require high levels of traceability. This system enables technicians to read, at the touch of a button, up to 75 plates in 5 minutes with results and images being saved instantly.

The ProtoCOL 3 comes inclusive with both colony counting and inhibition zone measuring ability. The user-friendly, intuitive software can count colonies as small as 43 µm and measure zones accurately to 0.5 mm, with a theoretical detection limit of 0.1 mm. This makes ProtoCOL 3 ideal for a wide range of applications in different industries, from pharmaceutical quality control to contract testing laboratories. On environmental monitoring / bioburden plates, the sophisticated software can detect and ignore membrane filter grids during analysis to ensure accurate count results. You also have the option to ‘split’ touching colonies so that each individual colony is properly counted, even on plates with a high bacterial density. The body of the ProtoCOL 3 is lightweight and compact and features two sliding doors to prevent excessive ambient light affecting the readings.

Fully Traceable

ProtoCOL 3 is compatible with 1D barcode readers and results can be automatically exported into a spreadsheet (Excel/OpenOffice) or transferred to your LIMS. All data is fully 21 CFR Part 11 compliant with audit trails, user access levels and professional reports, making ProtoCOL 3 suitable for any highly regulated microbiology laboratory.


The system is available with a mounted touchscreen processor which enables ease of control at eye level for the operator. Alternatively, you can use ProtoCOL 3 with a new or existing stand-alone desktop or laptop computer via USB connection. Software upgrades are free and there is no annual licence fee. The system can be configured for a wide range of applications. These include:

  • Pour / spread plates
  • Spiral plates
  • Multi-well plates
  • SBA (serum bactericidal assay) plates
  • OPKA (opsonophagocytic killing assay) plates
  • Ames Testing
  • Inhibition zones
  • AST (antibiotic susceptibility testing)
  • SRD (single radial immunodiffusion)
  • Chromogenic plates
  • Multi-sector plates
  • MIC strips
  • Dilution series

See the ProtoCOL 3 in action below:

Contact MSC below to learn more about our range of colony counters or to organise a demo:

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