The NucleoCounter is a novel, portable cell counting device based on the principle of fluorescence microscopy. The present work establishes its use with animal cells and checks its reliability, consistency and accuracy in comparison with other cytometric techniques. The main advantages of this technique are its ability to handle a large number of samples with a high degree of precision and its simplicity and specificity in detecting viable cells quantitatively in a heterogeneous culture. The work addresses and overcomes the problems of subjectivity, and some of the inherent sampling errors associated with using the traditional haemocytometer and Trypan Blue exclusion method. NucleoCounter offers reduced intra- and inter-observer variation as well as consistency in repetitive analysis that establishes it as an efficient and highly potential device for at-line monitoring of animal cell processes. Furthermore, since the only manual steps required are sample aspiration and mixing with two reagents, it is feasible that the whole method could be automated and brought on-line for process monitoring and control.