MELVILLE, N.Y., Nov. 22, 2010 — Nikon Instruments Inc.’s N-SIM super-resolution microscope is now available for purchase and delivery. In December 2009, the company signed an agreement with the University of California, San Francisco, Office of Technology Management for structured illumination microscopy (SIM) technology. The university is licensing its technology to Nikon to make N-SIM-enabled microscopes that are designed to realize resolution higher than can be achieved by conventional optical microscopes. They operate at speeds that enable the study of dynamic nanoscopic events in living cells. The super-resolution fluorescence microscopy technology enables viewing of microstructures and nanostructures of fixed and living cells with molecular-scale resolution. The systems produce twice the resolution of conventional optical microscopes via SIM technology and based on the Eclipse Ti research inverted microscope with Nikon's CFI Apo total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) 100× oil objective lens with a numerical aperture of 1.49. SIM takes advantage of moire patterns, which are produced by overlaying one pattern with another. The sample under the lens is observed while it is illuminated by a special grid pattern of light. Several different light patterns are applied, and the resulting moire patterns are captured each time by a digital camera. Computer software algorithms then extract the high spatial frequency information in the moire images and translate it into 2- and 3-D high-resolution reconstructions. N-SIM achieves a time resolution of 0.6 s/frame and is effective for live-cell imaging. The TIRF-SIM illumination technique enables total internal reflection fluorescence observation with high resolution and provides more detailed structural information near the cell membrane. Another new 3D-SIM illumination technique adds the ability of optical sectioning of specimens, enabling the visualization of more detailed cell spatial structures.