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TIRF Microscope System
Oct 2007
Leica Microsystems GmbHRequest Info
For Live-Cell Research
WETZLAR, Germany, Oct. 25, 2007 -- The new Leica TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) microscope system, called the Leica AM TIRF MC, allows the entire fluorescence excitation spectrum to now be used for real-time visualization of live cell dynamics, according to manufacturer Leica Microsystems GmbH.

Leica's scanner sensor automatically matches the TIRF angle at all wavelengths to the required penetration depth, and positions the laser so that the TIRF penetration depth remains constant even when the wavelength is changed. Researchers using Leica's TIRF technology benefit from a unique level of convenience as well as from reproducible scientific results, the company said.

LeicaTIRF.jpgThe Leica AM TIRF MC integrates four solid-state lasers for the excitation of fluorophores at wavelengths from 405 to 632nm. The system features extremely short switching times and an ultrahigh synchronized frame rate. For the scientist, Leica Microsystems said, this means excellent flexibility for experiments with multiple fluorophores. The system is particularly useful for exploring molecular interaction at cell membranes and molecular interaction of proteins and receptors involved in transport mechanisms. The system lets a scientist examine single molecules near the cell membrane, study colocalization and vesicle transport, and combine TIRF and fast FRET analysis.

The unit provides wavelengths of 405, 488, 561, and 632 nm for multicolor applications. Individual laser lines are paired and controlled quickly and precisely via acousto-optical tunable filters during a switching time of only 1 ms.

Leica's newly designed SyncBoard controls the fast frame rate of up to 30 fps. This high temporal resolution for the excitation of multiple fluorophores, combined with the high spatial TIRF resolution of 70-300 nm in the z-axis, are key prerequisites for visualizing transport processes in cell membranes or protein interactions in real time.

Even individual molecule interaction, kinetics, and colocalization can be visualized and measured with Leica's highly sensitive TIRF system. Maintaining constant penetration depth when the laser lines are switched is an essential requirement for the use of multiple fluorophores. With an excellent signal-to-noise ratio, the entire dynamic range of the high-sensitivity Leica EMCCD (electron multiplying CCD) camera can be used. Leica said its camera takes top quality pictures even of weak fluorescence signals.

"The Leica AM TIRF MC offers live cell researchers leading-edge technology that reliably provides reproducible scientific results due to its automatic control of penetration depth," said Leica Marketing Manager Werner Kampe. "In addition, the system is highly versatile and extremely easy to use."

On the practical side, the Leica AM TIRF MC is a compact system with a small footprint and is a safety class 1 laser unit that uses a quiet air-cooling system, the company said. All four laser lines are guided via a single multimode fiber optic cable. The TIRF module can be connected to Leica's inverted microscopes as well as to the high-end Leica TCS SP5 confocal system.

For more information, visit:

Leica Microsystems GmbH
Ernst-Leitz-Strasse 17-37
35578 Wetzlar
Phone: +49 6441-29-0
Fax: +49 6441-29-2590


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