Olympus has introduced the Cell TIRF system as part of its Xcellence live cell fluorescence imaging station.
Olympus Cell TIRF is said to enable ultra-sensitive simultaneous multi-colour total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, offering four laser channels with independent beam paths.
Individual motorised angle control for each laser also enables synchronisation of evanescent penetration to provide simultaneous multi-colour high-contract images with minimal background noise for cell membrane, surface and single molecule studies.
This multi-laser independent beam path technology, combined with TIRFM objectives covering a broad spectrum, ensures that Cell TIRF delivers sensitivity and precision in multi-colour TIRFM.
Olympus offers six dedicated objectives, including what is claimed to be the highest resolution available with a numerical aperture of 1.69NA, as well as the highest magnification at 150x (1.45NA).
This means that TIRFM investigations can be carried out with penetration depths down to 40nm.
Newly available objectives offering increased numerical apertures of 1.49 at 100x and 60x magnification ensure good angle flexibility, enabling small penetration depths.
This is advantageous for cell membrane studies, and also provides better signal-to-noise ratios.
Software integration and mechanics along with these objectives mean that users can precisely and automatically adjust laser penetration with 1nm accuracy at the click of a button.
This is possible as Cell TIRF is fully integrated into the Xcellence real-time imaging system with automatic device configuration via Olympus Data Bus (ODB), enabling fast switching and precise control of hardware, including the TIRF condenser and laser lines.
One button is required to switch between critical angle, defined penetration depth and laser widefield illumination.
Highly inclined and laminated optical (HILO) sheet imaging is also enabled due to the XY-adjustable field stops for every laser beam.
Furthermore, fine adjustment is possible via the mouse wheel or keyboard.
Complete integration within the Experiment Manager, a graphical experiment construction tool, also enables specialised TIRFM commands for sophisticated applications, such as experiments with varying penetration depths combined with widefield and confocal microscopy.
The Xcellence system provides real-time live cell fluorescence imaging and can also accommodate the Cell FRAP photo control and Cell SPIN laser-based spinning disk confocal modules.
The system is fully compatible with most microscope tables, image-splitters, piezo drives and AFM stages.