Leica DVM6 has been recognized with the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016. Leica Microsystems’ most recent addition to their digital microscope range received an “Honourable Mention” for its pure and simple design for single-handed operation, which makes it possible for the right decisions to be made quickly in QA/QC even for less experienced microscope users.
The Leica DVM6 digital microscope is a versatile tool in manufacturing and research and development, quality control and assurance as well as failure analysis in a broad range of industries.
Leica Microsystems presents Red Dot award-winning digital microscope at Control 2016
Wetzlar, Germany. The Leica DVM6 digital microscope has been recognized with the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2016. This "Honourable Mention" was given to Leica Microsystems' most recent addition to their digital microscope range for its pure and simple design. The Leica DVM6 was specifically designed to include intuitive and fast operation so that quality assurance and quality control professionals can make the right decisions quickly. The instrument will be exhibited live at the Control 2016 conference in Stuttgart, Germany from April 26 to 29.
"The optical quality and usability of the Leica DVM6 digital microscope is outstanding," explains Markus Lusser, President of Leica Microsystems. "The design was driven by our users' requirements: Speed, high level of automation, and versatility. This helps them save time, simplify workflows and inspire confidence in operating the system with minimal training. We are delighted this has been recognized by the international expert panel of the Red Dot Design Award"
The Red Dot Award ceremony will take place July 4, 2016 in Essen. All award-winning products will be exhibited in the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen. They will be presented in a special exhibition “Design on Stage” for four weeks before becoming part of the permanent exhibition.
Digital microscopy plays an increasingly important role in quality control. One focus area at ‘Control’, the international trade fair for quality assurance in Stuttgart, is how digital microscopes can support users in quality control and assurance as well as failure analysis. Along with the Leica DVM6, visitors of the Leica Microsystems booth 1712 in hall 1 will have the chance to see and try out the Leica DCM8 optical profiler for surface metrology and the Leica DMS1000 digital microscope for inspection and measurement in manufacturing and quality control.
Visitors of Control can also learn about the benefits of an inverted microscope system such as the Leica DMi8, which gives users great freedom to position samples up to 80 mm height and 8 kg weight. Another exhibit will be the Leica EM TIC 3X ion beam milling for high-quality cross-sections that reveal the internal structures of the sample with scarcely any deformation or damage.
Leica Microsystems Launches High Pressure Freezer with Integrated Light Stimulation for “Flash-and-Freeze” Experiments
Vienna, Austria. Leica Microsystems launches the Leica EM ICE, a new generation High-Pressure Freezer with fully integrated light stimulation option at the precision of a millisecond. High pressure freezing is currently the only method for preserving aqueous samples in their close-to-native state at nanometer resolution. The Leica EM ICE not only enables users to cryo-immobilize samples without introducing structural alteration, but it gives researchers the possibility to design novel experiments as the Leica EM ICE offers the combination of high pressure freezing and light stimulation. The instrument enables users to synchronize high-pressure freezing and light stimulation with the precision of a millisecond, capturing dynamic phenomena to further analyse them at nanometer resolution. The precise correlation between the light impulse and the time of freezing is essential for revealing the intricate changes in fine structure and fundamental processes in life science and industry research. The instrument offers five different wavelengths for light stimulation and can freeze up to nine samples consecutively with its new sample storage system. Samples are frozen within one second of having been placed in the specimen carrier and brought to liquid nitrogen temperatures (-195.7°C) at which they will be stored until further processed.
Dr. Cveta Tomova, Product Manager at Leica Microsystems says: “The Leica EM ICE is a powerful tool that can bring to light new discoveries and even help understand life-sustaining processes. It is the only instrument capable of synchronizing high pressure freezing and light stimulation with a millisecond precision. The platform brings together light, time, and sample preservation on a new level. This is a combination of quality and technological innovation, designed to assist researchers in achieving scientific break-throughs. High pressure freezing combined with light stimulation can be applied to any light-sensitive compound such as lotions, photoactivatable composite materials, proteins, and various biological samples. It can push further our understanding of highly dynamic processes, such as neurotransmission at the synapse.”
Light stimulation with the Leica EM ICE can be performed with different wave-lengths, i.e. blue, UV, green, red, and amber. This is possible with the inbuilt connection for the LED light modules, which the instrument software automatically recognizes. The software-integrated programming offers a range of parameters to assist scientists in designing “flash-and-freeze” experiments. The integrated light stimulation of the Leica EM ICE facilitates precise correlation between the light stimulus and the moment of freezing. “All this brings standardisation, reliability and at the same time flexibility to facilitate research in various scientific fields,” says Tomova.
Time is of essence, particularly for optimal sample preservation. The automated freezing cycle of the Leica EM ICE ensures the sample is frozen within a second after being placed in the specimen carrier. The computerized process starts with simultaneous cartridge assembly and initiation of the freezing process and is completed with the automatic sample release into the liquid nitrogen storage container, thereby preventing devitrification artefacts.
Users can freeze up to nine samples consecutively which helps them focus on the essentials and not the handling details. The Leica EM ICE sample storage Dewar has a programmable storage sequence for three separate positions. This permits freezing combinations of different samples or different conditions of the same sample subsequently.
In electron microscopy sample preparation, Leica Microsystems focuses on workflow solutions. The Leica EM ICE is a key part of multiple workflows. “Our ultimate goal is to help our customers obtain the breakthrough insights they strive for. This is why we provide the technology which can do what instruments before could not,” says Tomova. “At the same time, our goal is to bring comfort and consistency to researchers’ tasks. One example: To understand the complex changes in the fine structure of a sun-screen lotion exposed to UV light, a sample can be high pressure frozen in the Leica EM ICE with light stimulation under a specific doze of UV exposure. The frozen sample can then be coated in the high vacuum coater Leica EM ACE600 – still under cryo conditions – and then imaged in the cryo scanning electron microscope. The transport system Leica EM VCT100 serves as a shuttle from one step to the next, always preserving cryo and vaccum conditions.”
LED technology offers myriad benefits which pay off for microscope illumination.
For the LED illumination in Leica Microsystems uses color-neutral LEDs with a color temperature of just under 6,000 K, which is roughly equivalent to daylight.
LED technology allows stable conditions for reproducible microscope images
The LEDs compact devices open up new perspectives for innovative microscope illumination design.
Light emitting diodes, or LEDs for short, are found in all sorts of applications.
Industrial facilities, automotive and home lighting and, last but not least, microscopy, all benefit from the advantages of LED technology, the development of which is rapidly advancing. Over the past few years, the light yield of white LEDs has risen to a substantial 130 lumen per watt and more.
LEDs are semiconductor crystals that emit light when a current flows through them. The light is red, green, yellow, or blue, depending on the composition of the crystal compounds. White light is obtained through luminescence conversion, i.e. by adding a yellow phosphor coating to blue LEDs.
LEDs are available in a wide range of white light colors from extremely warm white 2,700 K through neutral white 4,000 K to cold white 6,500 K and higher, which is similar to daylight. Incidentally, the physical effect of the electroluminescence on which LED technology is based was discovered more than 100 years ago.
LED technology offers myriad benefits. The two main benefits are a long service life and energy efficiency. With a service life of approx. 50,000 hours, LEDs essentially do not need to be replaced during the lifetime of the microscope, so there’s no need to worry about bulb changing causing microscope downtime – a particular concern in a manufacturing environment. In the long term, there is a noticeable reduction in energy consumption: the LED illumination for microscopes of Leica Microsystems uses up to 90% less electricity than comparable illumination with halogen lamps. The results of large-scale energy saving can be seen in the USA, where the government has set up a Green Labs Initiative directed at reducing energy consumption in laboratories and putting LEDs into widespread use. Also the idea of a 2000 Watt society was introduced in Switzerland back in 1998 and is recommended to save energy by using LEDs.
For microscopy, however, the other benefits of LED technology are even more interesting: LED illumination offers a constant color temperature across all brightness levels. This means that users can view the sample in the same color temperature at any microscope setting. “For the LED illumination in Leica microscopes we use color-neutral LEDs with a color temperature of just under 6,000 K, which is roughly equivalent to daylight,” explains Heinrich Bürgers, Product Manager for Stereo and Digital Microscopes at Leica Microsystems. “To ensure high quality, we only use selected LEDs of reputed manufacturers. That means we can guarantee the LEDs we use have the desired Kelvin band.” A constant color temperature is particularly important for documentation: the camera does not need resetting every time the brightness is altered and there is no need for white balance adjustment either. This property of LEDs means high reproducibility and low error rates.
Not only the color temperature remains constant. The DC components of the LED illumination ensure flicker-free light, which is especially important for recording microscope images. LEDs do not emit any heat, enabling users to view samples over long periods of time under the same temperature conditions. As the lamp housing does not need cooling, the LED illumination is also silent and vibration-free. LEDs are insensitive to voltage fluctuations in the electricity grid.
LEDs do not require a light source of their own: Without the need for an external lamp housing, fiber optics, and cables, LEDs are compact devices opening up new perspectives for innovative microscope illumination design. “When developing our LED products for stereo microscopes, we exploited this advantage,“ says Bürgers. “In the Leica LED5000 and Leica LED3000 product family, the illumination is totally integrated in the overall system of Leica Microsystems’ instruments and accessories.” For the user, this means that illumination settings can be controlled by software, saved with the image and recalled whenever required. Moreover, the illumination is perfectly matched to the specific microscope optics. Last, but not least, the compact LED illumination allows easy access to the sample and in a neat, space-saving microscope design.
Are there still applications where halogen illumination is preferable in spite of the many advantages of LEDs? “There are some applications for which we recommend halogen lamps,“ Bürgers confirms. For instance, some metal samples are easier to view with a halogen illumination, as standard LEDs are often too bright. Halogen illumination may also offer advantages in forensics, as its Color Rendering Index (CRI) is better than that of LEDs. Finally, there are applications requiring infrared light or the measurement of color spectra. Halogen or xenon lamps are still used here as well. “Because of its many advantages, however, the future belongs to LED technology in microscopy illumination, as elsewhere,” says Bürgers. “With its broad range of LED products, Leica Microsystems can already offer the optimal illumination for nearly every application.”
Electron Microscopy Sample Preparation Business Proves Environmental Commitment
Wetzlar, Germany. Leica Mikrosysteme GmbH, Vienna, obtained the DIN EN ISO 14001 certification for Environmental Management. The certification refers to Leica Microsystems’ Vienna plant, home to the Electron Microscopy (EM) Sample Preparation business of the global technology company. The certification process was started last September and involved transferring the existing, local Quality Management System into an Integrated Management System as required by ISO 14001.
Mario Molitor, Quality & Environmental Manager RA/QA with Leica Microsystems, says: “At Leica Microsystems, we are dedicated to environmental protection.” As a Danaher company, Leica Microsystems follows the Danaher policy for environment, health, and safety, and adheres to or exceeds local laws and regulations. “Another motivation to apply for the certification is that ISO 14001 is often a prerequisite for tenders. The certification is visible proof for our commitment to environmental standards.”
Leica Microsystems’ EM Sample Preparation business focuses on workflow solutions for a broad range of applications in life science research as well as in materials science. Samples for EM imaging are especially delicate and therefore need to be handled with great care to ensure no damage is incurred in the preparation process. “All instruments we offer are developed to integrate seamlessly, so that the workflow runs smoothly. Our team of product managers and application experts works closely together to ensure one instrument best matches the other,” says Ian Lamswood, Marketing Director with Leica Microsystems. The most recently launched product is a system for correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM). Before observing a sample in the EM, it gives users a quick overview under the fluorescence microscope and provides deeper insights by correlating both fluorescence and electron microscope images. The system keeps samples at cryo conditions of -195° centigrade.
Image Delivery to Multiple Student Devices Increases Learning Time
Wetzlar, Germany. Leica Microsystems launches two Wi-Fi-capable microscopy instruments for the science classroom in biology, anatomy, chemistry, geology, and material sciences: the Leica EZ4 W educational stereo microscope with built-in wireless camera and the Leica ICC50 W digital camera, which can be added to educational compound microscopes. Both systems transfer HD images directly to students’ mobile devices. The Leica AirLab App for both iOS and Android devices allows capturing, annotating, sharing, and organizing of images and makes the classroom more interactive. Learning time is increased since teachers can save set-up and dismantling time. Only one power cable for each microscope is needed, as the camera can be plugged into the microscope.
“Introducing Wi-Fi capabilities to the scienc e classroom enables students to learn in a digital environment that is already part of their lives. Since learning content is transferred directly to the students’ devices, teachers can engage them more easily and promote team work. They can share results, work together, and network wherever they are,” says Vince Vaccarelli, Product Manager with Leica Microsystems. “A digital classroom creates a different learning environment, since they learn from each other. The interactive, digital platform increases attention and simplifies note-taking as well as assignments with image annotations.”
“As the designer of all new labs at Earth Observatory Singapore, I would definitely incorporate this technology in any future labs using microscopes. The wireless camera system is much easier to set up than the current one used in our microscope lab. Being able to send and capture images with wireless technology is an added bonus,” commented Dorinda Ostermann, Technical Director of the Geochemical Laboratories, Earth Observatory Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
The Leica AirLab App is available for download for free:
The Leica DVM6, for inspection, analysis, and measurement in quality control, quality assurance, failure analysis, research and development, and forensics
With the Leica DVM6, users can easily navigate their samples because of the 16:1 zoom range, tilt the microscope head with one hand, and even change objectives while the sample stays in focus.
Facilitating Precise, Repeatable Imaging, Measurement, and Analysis
Heerbrugg, Switzerland. Leica Microsystems launches the digital microscope Leica DVM6, which is designed for inspection, analysis, and measurement in quality control, quality assurance, failure analysis, research and development, and forensics. Integrated illumination options and PlanApo-corrected optics ensure high quality images. The design of the Leica DVM6 enables users to work with the instrument intuitively, for example, tilting the microscope head or changing the objectives with one hand. Because of the instrument’s encoding, results are reproducible, and reports and documentations can be generated with the click of one button.
Georg Schlaffer, Product Manager with Leica Microsystems says: “Everybody can be a microscopist with the Leica DVM6. Users can easily navigate their samples because of the 16:1 zoom range, tilt the microscope head with one hand, and even change objectives while the sample stays in focus. Managing high sample throughput and routine documentation and reporting becomes easy due to the encoded parameters that are saved with the images.”
In addition to the zoom range of 16:1, users have a choice of three objectives covering a magnification range between 10x and 2,350x, resolving details down to a size of 0.4 micrometers. The objectives are PlanApo-corrected and will not show color fringes over the entire zoom range. Users can change objectives with one hand and work without interruption, since the objectives keep the sample in focus. With the tiltable microscope head, users can observe samples at any angle from -60 to +60 degrees. Combined with different illumination options for various contrast methods, users can see details of the sample that might not have been revealed without tilting.
The Leica DVM6 tracks specific parameter values and saves them with the image data. For the Leica DVM6, these encoded parameters include the objective, camera, and illumination settings, sample stage position, and rotation angle of both manual and motorized movement. They can be recalled or restored any time. Encoding facilitates reproducibility and makes workflows more efficient. Users can generate documentation and reports at the touch of a button.
Some useful guidelines for understanding magnification in today’s new digital microscope era on Digital Microscopy on Science Lab: What Does 30,000:1 Magnification Really Mean?
The Leica DMi8 inverted microscope platform for industrial applications can speed up workflow. The modular design makes it easy to configure a system to meet application and budget needs now and easily upgrade in the future.
The Leica DMi8 can be equipped with a macro objective exclusively offered by Leica Microsystems. Users can get up to four times more field of view diameter as compared to conventional objectives.
Versatility, Upgradability, and Faster Workflow with the Leica DMi8 Platform
Wetzlar, Germany. Leica Microsystems introduces the modular Leica DMi8 inverted microscope platform for industrial applications. Inverted microscopes are used for metallography, quality assurance in medical device or microelectronics manufacturing, a wide range of inspection tasks in the automotive and aviation industries as well as materials science. The Leica DMi8 makes it possible for users to configure a basic microscope system now, and upgrade later as needs and applications change. In addition, users can speed up their workflow, because working with an inverted microscope makes sample placement and change between samples faster than in upright microscopy. They can also image large and heavy samples more easily. Additionally, the Leica Application Suite (