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Nikon Announces LiveScan Next Generation Swept Field Confocal Microscope

MELVILLE, N.Y., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Nikon Instruments (http://www.nikonusa.com) today announced that the next generation of confocal microscopy, the Nikon LiveScan Swept Field Confocal Microscope (SFC) is now available with Nikon's new NIS-Elements control and image acquisition software. This new laser confocal microscope enables dynamic live cell confocal imaging. Its revolutionary new optical design is used in pinhole scan mode for high Z axis resolution with data acquisition at frame rates up to 30 frames/sec, and in slit scan mode at acquisition frequencies up to 1200 frames/sec.

For cell biologists and neurophysiologists, Nikon's LiveScan SFC microscope can monitor and record rapidly occurring events with msec time resolution in living cells without compromising spatial confocality, while simultaneously minimizing specimen exposure to damaging illumination energy which can result in photobleaching and phototoxicity.

The unique scan head combines tandem scanning technology with galvanometer and piezo controlled scanning mirrors. In pinhole mode, the illuminating photons are focused through a row of 32 stationary pinholes over the specimen, allowing each point in the specimen to be illuminated up to 260 times/sec. The emission photons are descanned and focused through a complementary row of pinholes on the image side, and from there onto the face of a high sensitivity EMCCD camera. Because the pinholes are stationary, the plate containing them can contain 4 rows of pinholes, with the pinhole size for each row selected to maximize both axial and lateral resolution for all of the most commonly used objective lenses for confocal microscopy.

The plate also contains two different size slits that allow data acquisition at the fastest frame rate of any commercial confocal microscope. This feature means users can trade back and forth between scanning apertures to obtain the most advantageous balance between speed, resolution, and sensitivity for each experiment.

The LiveScan Swept Field Confocal Microscope takes advantage of up to six acousto optical tunable filter (AOTF) modulated laser lines for single or multi-channel sequential data acquisition. The laser table is equipped with a switchable dual fiber output so the same lasers can be used for additional applications including FRAP and TIRF.

"The Nikon LiveScan confocal system fills an important niche in today's arsenal of optical techniques for live cell microscopy, offering both pinhole and fast slit confocal imaging at safe illumination levels, allowing longer imaging sessions at higher signal to noise detection levels," said Stan Schwartz, marketing vice president, Nikon Instruments. "Our new NIS-Elements software provides basic control and acquisition for the SFC as well as advanced 3-D visualization and analysis routines for dynamic live cell imaging."

The Nikon SFC microscope's compact modular design is simple to use and easy to maintain. This modular design makes easy and economical upgrades to the system possible as the user's needs change. About Nikon Instruments Inc. Nikon Instruments Inc., world leader in microscope and advanced digital imaging technology, is committed to providing its customers with quality products for bioscience research and industrial applications; high-performance semiconductor wafer handling and inspection equipment; and advanced high- speed, vision-based and optical measuring tools.

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