Nikon will fit Harvard University's Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (Storm) technology into its N-Storm microscopes after the organisations signed a licensing agreement.
Nikon will introduce the N-Storm Super Resolution microscope system at the American Society For Cell Biology - 49th Annual Meeting, to be held 5-9 December in San Diego.
The new microscope system incorporates the Storm methodology and realises what Nikon claims is a resolution higher than ever achieved using conventional optical microscopes.
The Storm technology is a novel advanced form of optical microscopy and lets life-science researchers observe tissues and cells more clearly.
Optical microscopy is one of the most widely used imaging methods in biomedical research.
However, the spatial resolution of optical microscopy, limited by the diffraction of light to several hundred nanometres, is larger than typical molecular-length scales in cells, leaving many biological investigations beyond the reach of light microscopy.
Dr Xiaowei Zhuang, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of physics at Harvard University, developed Storm, a new form of high-resolution light microscopy.
Storm uses photo-switchable fluorescent probes to temporarily separate the otherwise spatially overlapping images of individual molecules, allowing the construction of super-resolution images.
This concept has achieved two- and three-dimensional multi-colour fluorescence images of molecular complexes, cells and tissues with resolution of a few tens of nanometres.
This new form of fluorescence microscopy allows molecular interactions in cells and cell-cell interactions in tissues to be imaged at the nanometre scale.
N-Storm is based on the Nikon Eclipse Ti research inverted microscope, which incorporates CFI60 objectives featuring high numerical apertures.
N-Storm provides enhanced resolution 10 times or better than that of conventional optical microscopes.
The N-Storm instrumentation will be capable of multi-spectral two-dimensional and three-dimensional nanoscopy, with lateral resolution to approximately 20nm and axial resolution to approximately 50nm, extending the role of the optical microscope to near molecular-level resolution.
The Storm method reconstructs high-resolution fluorescence images (2D and 3D) from localisation information of fluorophores detected with high accuracy and calculated from multiple exposures.
It generates more information from detection of single-molecule fluorescence emissions and goes one step further, from structural to molecular understanding of the specimen.
The N-Storm Super Resolution microscope system provides high-resolution two-dimensional image-acquisition capability.
By adding a 3D optical-device switchover to the microscope, it will also acquire multicolour high-resolution fluorescence images of the same specimen in 3D, without the need for time-consuming serial section acquisition.