Carl Zeiss licenses UCSF fluorescence microscopy technique

Carl Zeiss has received a license from the University of California, San Francisco to commercialize “Multidirectional Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy” (mSPIM), an advanced illumination technique for light-sheet fluorescence microscopy—particularly live imaging of fluorescently labeled specimens up to millimeters in size.

Carl Zeiss (Thornwood, NY) has received a license from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF; San Francisco, CA) to commercialize “Multidirectional Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy” (mSPIM), an advanced illumination technique for light-sheet fluorescence microscopy—particularly live imaging of fluorescently labeled specimens up to millimeters in size. Specimens can be imaged for days under certain physiological conditions and with minimum photo-induced damage.

Developed by Dr. Jan Huisken at UCSF, mSPIM reduces absorption and scattering artifacts and provides an evenly illuminated focal plane. By alternating illumination of the sample from multiple sides, mSPIM overcomes two common problems in light-sheet imaging techniques: shadowing effects in the excitation path and spreading of the light sheet by scattering in the sample.

The agreement grants Carl Zeiss the right to integrate the mSPIM technology in its microscopy systems. The first commercial light-sheet fluorescence microscope (LSFM, also known as “selective plane illumination microscope” or “SPIM”) for multidimensional, ultrafast and long-term timelapse imaging of live specimens is currently being developed by the company in Germany.

The licensing of mSPIM represents another big step forward in 3-D microscopy of living specimens in cell biology, neurobiology, stem cell research and marine biology, among other fields.

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