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  • TMC Donation Solves Unusual Vibration Problem
Jan 2003
PEABODY, Mass., Jan. 27 -- More than half a million annual visitors will soon be able to view the amazing development of live embryos at San Francisco's Exploratorium, thanks to two vibration isolation laboratory tables donated by Technical Manufacturing Corp. (TMC), of Peabody, Mass.

Part of the museum's Microscope Imaging Station, the exhibit will feature a time-lapse video, taken under a microscope, of a transparent zebrafish maturing from a single cell to a fully developed hatching egg. It is essential that the image remain completely motionless for the entire 61 hours of the embryo's development. Most imaging applications require only a few seconds of quiescent performance.

"Our 63-500 Series table is perfect for this application," said Steve Ryan, TMC's vice president, marketing. "The table provides extremely efficient vibration isolation of floor noise both vertically and horizontally. In addition to the isotropic nature of the isolation, the Gimbal Piston vibration isolation system works well with light mass loads and maintains the efficient isolator performance down to the low amplitude input levels typical of building floor vibrations. The table was specifically designed for use with optical microscopes such as the Zeiss Axiocam 200M inverted microscope used in this exhibit."

The time-lapse sequencing is accomplished by outfitting the microscope with a digital CCD camera attachment. The camera is controlled to take a photograph every six minutes. A sequence of 610 photos over the 61-hour period is compiled to create the time-lapse sequence that shows the development of the zebrafish embryo from a single cell through hatching.

The Microscope Imaging Station is scheduled for completion in the fall. In the meantime, as the exhibit evolves, visitors will be able to view time-lapse videos, observe the equipment in action and participate in the exhibit's development.

Technical Manufacturing Corp. designs and manufactures precision vibration isolation systems and optical tables for manufacturing processes and research applications worldwide, including semiconductor manufacturing, microbiology, optics, metrology and numerous academic, industrial and military research projects.

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