Nikon Corporation and UCSF Office of Technology Management Agree on Licensing of SIM Technology for N-SIM
Nikon announces new super resolution microscope which exceeds the traditional diffraction limits by two times N-SIM Image
Tokyo, Japan and Melville, N.Y. December 4, 2009 – Nikon Corporation, an innovator of advanced optical instruments, announced today that it will sign an agreement with the University of California, San Francisco Office of Technology Management for Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM) technology. Under the terms of the agreement, UCSF will license its technology to Nikon to make N-SIM enabled microscopes.
Nikon Corporation President, Mr. Michio Kariya, and Nikon Instruments(www.nikoninstruments.com) are pleased to announce the introduction of the Super Resolution Microscope N-SIM at the American Society For Cell Biology – 49th Annual Meeting (December 5-9, San Diego). The new microscope system incorporates the technology licensed from UCSF and is designed to realize resolution higher than can be achieved by conventional optical microscopes.
There is a universal desire among top-end life science researchers to observe tissues and cells more clearly. Optical microscopes are essential for this purpose. However, if multiple objects such as protein molecules cluster at distances of less than 200nm apart, conventional optical microscopes cannot identify them as single objects. In this case, other instrumentation such as electron microscopes previously had to be used.
Today, Nikon introduces super resolution fluorescence microscopy technology which greatly exceeds the resolution limits of conventional optical microscopes, making it possible to view microstructures and nanostructures of fixed and living cells with molecular-scale resolution. These dramatic achievements for the Nikon Super Resolution Microscope N-SIM are noted below.
Nearly double the resolution of conventional optical microscopes:
Nikon’s N-SIM microscopy system can produce two times the resolution of conventional optical microscopes by combining SIM technology licensed from UCSF and based on the world renowned Eclipse Ti research inverted microscope with Nikon’s legendary CFI Apo TIRF 100x oil objective lens (N.A. 1.49), developed using unique optical technologies and manufacturing techniques. The SIM technology was developed by Mats G.L. Gustafsson, PhD, John W. Sedat, PhD and David A. Agard, PhD, of UCSF; Agard is currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at UCSF and Gustafsson is a group leader at HHMI’s Janelia Farm Research Campus.
Mats Gustafsson spearheaded the initial work and introduced SIM in 2000 while at UCSF. SIM takes advantage of moiré 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 moiré patterns are captured each time by a digital camera. Computer software algorithms then extract the information in the moiré images and translate it into two- and three-dimensional, high-resolution reconstructions.
Time resolution of 0.6 sec/frame, the fastest in the industry:
N-SIM provides the fastest imaging capability in the industry, with a time resolution of 0.6 sec/frame and is effective for live-cell imaging.
New TIRF-SIM and 3D-SIM imaging technique:
The newly developed TIRF-SIM illumination technique enables Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) observation with higher resolution than conventional TIRF microscopes and gives more detailed structural information near the cell membrane. In addition, another new 3D-SIM illumination technique has the capability of optical sectioning of specimens, enabling the visualization of more detailed cell spatial structures.
“Nikon is highly anticipating this exciting new development into the realm of super resolution and providing scientists with exceptional optical instrumentation that enables biologists and neuroscience researchers to visualize cellular structures and molecular activity at nearly twice the image resolution than realized before by conventional light microscopy in a commercialized microscopy system,” stated Stan Schwartz, vice president, Nikon Instruments, Inc. “We are excited with this opportunity to collaborate with UCSF and progressing together with Nikon’s design engineers to extend the capabilities and uses of N-SIM microscopy.”
Nikon’s official name for the commercialized product is Super Resolution Microscope N-SIM and will be available in May 2010.
ABOUT NIKON CORPORATION
Nikon has carved out a place as a pioneer of optical technology in Japan and the world since its inception in 1917. Today, Nikon commands a high global standing in the manufacture and sale of camera-related products, such as digital cameras, as well as binoculars and other optical products for consumers, such as ophthalmic lenses. These items complement Nikon’s diverse array of industrial precision equipment that includes semiconductor-related equipment, IC and LCD steppers and scanners, microscopes and measuring instruments. Additional information about Nikon Corporation is available at www.nikon.com
ABOUT NIKON INSTRUMENTS INC.
Nikon Instruments Inc is a world leader in the development and manufacture of optical and digital imaging technology for biomedical and industrial applications. Now in its 92nd year, Nikon provides complete optical systems that offer optimal versatility, performance and productivity. Cutting-edge instruments include microscopes, precision measuring equipment, digital imaging products and software. Nikon Instruments is the microscopy and digital imaging arm of Nikon Inc., the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology. For more information, visit www.nikoninstruments.com
Product-related inquiries may be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.
UCSF is a leading university that consistently defines health care worldwide by conducting advanced biomedical research, educating graduate students in the health professions and life sciences, and providing complex patient care. Web site: www.UCSF.edu
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