Scientifica launches multiphoton imaging system in the US

Scientifica is officially launching its multiphoton imaging system in the US, a move that falls on the heels of the system's demonstration by the company at the Society for Neuroscience 2012 meeting in October.

Scientifica (Uckfield, England) is officially launching its multiphoton imaging system in the US, a move that falls on the heels of the system's demonstration by the company at the Society for Neuroscience 2012 meeting in October. The US the company's largest market, says Mark Johnson, managing director of Scientifica.

Multiphoton imaging uses a femtosecond pulsed infrared (IR) laser, fast-moving mirrors, and precision optics to capture images of biological structure and activity within living tissue. A laser spot is scanned quickly over a sample, exciting dyes within the tissue. The emitted light is collected and transformed by super-sensitive photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), with the resulting image being captured and displayed on a PC screen.

Whether working with tissue sections in-vitro or with whole organisms in-vivo, the use of short pulses of low-energy IR light decreases the average laser power reaching the sample and reduces phototoxicity.

Scientifica's system has a modular design to enable use with differing microscopes, including the company's SliceScope microscope. The system captures images up to 900 µm deep within a sample, with the ability to switch between in-vivo and in-vitro, explains Johnson. The company works closely with researchers to understand and overcome the cost of the technique; therefore, the system integrates with ScanImage or Helioscan open-source software.

The company's Scanhead design can achieve diffraction-limited resolution, allowing researchers to visualize biological structures that are essential for investigating morphology and live activity within samples.

The system's detection units use custom optics, mechanics, and noise-reducing electronics to allow detection of weak fluorescent signals. The system can be configured with either a single detection unit above the sample, or with an additional detection unit below the sample for maximum light collection.

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