New White Light System creates an Entry Point into Confocal Microscopy
Differential Spinning Disk and high sensitivity Interline CCD camera from Andor Technology set new benchmark for performance
(published February 24, 2010) San Francisco, USA, Biophysical Society 54th Annual Meeting, 21 February 2010 – For the first time, high performance confocal microscopy can now be achieved using a white light source. This follows the launch today by Andor Technology of Revolution® DSD, a new fully integrated system based on a unique, Differential Spinning Disk optical system working in conjunction with an Andor Clara high sensitivity, Interline CCD camera and controlled by an IQ work station.
Mouse kidney section as seen with 63x, NA1.3 oil objective in widefield (left) and Revolution® DSD confocal (right). Maximum intensity projections imaged with Revolution® DSD at exposure times: Red 0.5 s, Green 0.3 s, Blue 1.5 s. Picture: Andor Technologie
Using white light, as opposed to lasers, significantly cuts the cost and brings this powerful form of microscopy within the budget of far more potential users, particularly as this new, compact solution will fit the side port of any microscope.
One of the keys to the outstanding performance of the new Andor Revolution® DSD white light confocal system is its use of active background subtraction. This has the ability to deliver purely confocal or wide field images. As a result, switching between techniques is unusually simple for a confocal system, and it simplifies binding and accurate focusing of the specimen.
As well as the overall performance, the confocality achieved by the new system can be also far better than other white lights instruments. In fact, under certain circumstances, it may exceed even laser point scanners. The approach makes for strong optical sectioning even at low magnification.
The patented spinning disk can be selected: one provides 50% transmission; the other 25%, making it ideal for sectioning thicker specimens.
Although this new white light confocal system cannot yet match the performance of laser spinning disk-based alternatives (such as Revolution® XD, also available from Andor), it is ideal for applications where moderate frame rates per second and where low magnification renders other instruments less useful. By creating a new entry point into confocal microscopy, it will broaden considerably the utility of this revealing technique.
Mark Browne, Director of Microscopy Systems Division with Andor Technology, commented: “A white light instrument is especially relevant to today’s live cell research needs and strikes a new price performance point as a ‘personal’ confocal. Andor’s DSD will help even more scientists explore boundaries of the visible.”
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