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Confocal Imager

Leica Microsystems GmbH

WETZLAR, Germany, June 25, 2012 — Leica Microsystems GmbH has introduced the TCS SP8, a confocal imager that combines optics, a fast, true confocal scanner and a sensitive detection system.

The device is a single platform that can be upgraded to serve a variety of imaging applications, including superresolution and supersensitivity imaging, single-molecule detection, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy, high-content screening, electrophysiology and deep-tissue imaging with more than one multiphoton source.

Confocal imaging demands a system architecture that can evolve to handle the research of the future. At the heart of the optical core, the scanner options can be configured for resolution, speed or field of view. Scanning speeds of 428 fps can be reached with the 12-kHz tandem scanner and the large field of view scanner. All scanners work in harmony with either the acousto-optical beamsplitter, for fast and transparent beamsplitting, or the low-incident-angle LIAcroic beamsplitters, which optimize optical throughput.

The spectral detector, with its equal dispersion of randomly polarized light, fluorophore-adapted true gain setting and a proprietary and patented HyD detection system, ensures that each fluorophore’s wavelength is optimally separated. These elements, combined with the company’s CS2 confocal objectives, result in ultradetailed imaging.

A modular design and an inclusive upgrade path ensure that each system, regardless of its configuration, benefits from features such as the fast, true confocal scanner and the company’s superresolution technology. Leica Microsystems’ gated STED and LightGate — a patented gated technology that completely suppresses reflected light — offer superresolution for live-cell imaging, revealing detailed high-contrast images to a resolution of <50 nm and at reduced laser power for improved cell viability.


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