New Laser Tools Benefit Confocal and Multiphoton Microscopy
- Stochastic microscopy imaging methods such as STORM deliver resolution far beyond the classical diffraction limit. Examples of STORM (a,c) and normal (b) resolution. These images from Professor Zhen-li Huang’s research team at Huazhong University of Science and Technology are characterized by 40 nanometer resolution. Scale bar: 500 nm
- Darryl McCoy presents a new generation of compact and cost-conscious ultrafast lasers – Axon Series - is poised to lower some of the hurdles to more widespread adoption of multiphoton microscopes.
- The OBIS Galaxy wavelength combining module allows eight different laser wavelengths to be coupled into one single-mode fiber with plug-and-play connectors. Here, it is shown (with the cover removed) as part of a system to deliver 10 wavelengths in three output fibers.
- Read Whitepaper
New wavelengths, flexible multi-laser systems and higher power are key trends in CW lasers for confocal instruments, while new compact economical femtosecond lasers will benefit both OEMs and end users in multiphoton imaging.
Multiphoton microscopy techniques (e.g., two-photon excitation, three-photon excitation, SHG, SRS, CARS) offer numerous advantages over other optical microscopy methods, including inherent three-dimensional imaging. Moreover, because these techniques typically involve minimal to no photo-damage, they are compatible with live tissue imaging over extended time intervals. And, since near-IR laser wavelengths are employed, multiphoton microscopy is capable of deep tissue imaging, which is vital in fields like neuroscience where researchers want to interrogate processes deeper in the murine brain. In spite of these well-known advantages, multiphoton microscopes lag far behind confocal microscopes in overall sales, installations and penetration into preclinical applications. A contributory reason for this is cited as the higher cost of ownership and size of tunable femtosecond sources compared to visible lasers.
Laser manufacturers have been focused on this challenge for some time and we are now starting to see dramatic improvements in all three of these parameters via a new generation of femtosecond lasers that are highly optimized for multiphoton microscopy.
Read the complete whitepaper here.