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Live Cell Imaging

Keeping cells viable is crucial for obtaining artifact-free data in long-term imaging. Control and maintenance of temperature, pH and humidity as well as low light stress and stage stability are prerequisites for successful experiments.

Shifting perspective from single microscope components to a full working live cell imaging solution, Leica Microsystems integrates microscope, LAS X imaging software, cameras, and dedicated third-party components into a complete live cell imaging system.

Simply get in touch!

Our experts on solutions for live cell imaging applications are happy to help you with their advice.

Live cell imaging Products 13

THUNDER Imager Model Organism

The THUNDER Imager Model Organism allows fast and easy 3D exploration of whole organisms for developmental or molecular biology research.

THUNDER Imager 3D Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture

THUNDER Imagers provide you with a solution for advanced 3D cell culture assays, whether you want to study stem cells, spheroids, or organoids.

THUNDER Imager Tissue

The THUNDER Imager Tissue allows real-time fluorescence imaging of 3D tissue sections typically used in neuroscience and histology research.

PAULA Cell Imager


Smart Cell Imager

Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope SP8 LIGHTNING


Super-resolution live cell imaging in multicolor

Histological section from cat eye. Simultaneous spectral (grey) and FLIM (color) confocal imaging reveals contrast by lifetime. Acquisition and visualization using SP8 FALCON and LAS X software.


The contrast is clear. Lifetime imaging in an instant

Maximum information from each specimen with LIGHTNING


The maximum of information from each specimen

Advanced live cell imaging solution DMi8 S

DMi8 S Platform

For routine to live cell research

Software platform for life science applications

LAS X Life Science

Software platform for life science applications

Infinity Scanner

Multispectral Photomanipulation Module

Infinity TIRF

Multicolor advanced TIRF module

Inverted Microscope for Cell and Tissue Culture

Leica DMi1

Entry level inverted microscope

Inverted Laboratory Microscope with LED Illumination


Inverted Laboratory Microscope with LED Illumination

Live Cell Imaging System

Inverted Microscope Platform Leica DMi8

A shift of perspective from microscope components to a live cell imaging system dedicated to your applications.

Keep your cells alive using environmental components such as the new INCUBATORi8.

  • Fully motorized Leica DMi8
  • Leica Adaptive Focus Control (AFC)
  • Infinity Port (Additional incident illumination port)
  • Lumencor SpectraX (multi-LED light source)
  • External fast filter wheels
  • INCUBATORi8 (Environmental chamber)
  • Leica DFC9000 (sCMOS camera)
  • Leica Application Suite X (Software) with Enviromental control and advanced analysis modules

Impressive focus accuracy

Do you need a fast software auto-focus, but also highly accurate positioning to follow small structures like vesicles over time? Or do you need high resolution three-dimensional images of large data sets?

Accurate 3D imaging

In both cases, standard microscope focus drives do not work with sufficient accuracy to obtain meaningful data at high resolution.

Rather than using a step motor, the Closed Loop Focus drive measures and positions with 20 nm reproducibility over an increased travel range of 12 mm. With this level of precision, 3D imaging is more accurate than ever before.

Stay in focus

During long term imaging, cells and their environment often change. To ensure that your cells stay in focus Leica offers two automated systems: the hardware based Adaptive Focus Control (AFC) and the image- based High Speed Autofocus.

AFC keeps the focus stable

  • The AFC actively keeps the focus stable even after changing environmental conditions.
  • The image-based High Speed Autofocus uses independent camera and illumination settings to find the focal plane with a low amount of light on the sample.
  • Combine AFC with High-Speed Autofocus to actively refocus, lower focus time and minimize phototoxicity.

Software for live cell imaging

Leica Application Suite X (LAS X) is the imaging and analysis software for live cell imaging from basic documentation to advanced fluorescence imaging, including super-resolution and confocal microscopy.

LAS X Software

Learning to use LAS X software for all of your applications is straightforward. Utilizing a workflow-based structure, the software is built to get you up and running quickly.

When it comes to data analysis, LAS X has you covered with wizard-based automated 2D and 3D image analysis. From simple documentation to complex analyses in multiple dimensions, this software is up to the challenge with comprehensive solutions for your research. 

Create the right environment

Users expect more from their inverted microscopes when it comes to live cell experiments. A complete system optimized for long term imaging relies on optimal measurement conditions and reproducible results.

Beside keeping cells in the optimal conditions, microscope components such as stages, specimen holders and optics are key factors for the success of live cell experiments. With a thoughtfully integrated system from Leica, your imaging experiment will result in meaningful, reproducible data, ready for publication.

Leica Incubation systems (pdf)

With the Environmental Control module in LAS X, all environmental control parameter are combined in one user-interface, making it easy to control and monitor conditions throughout your experiment.

High-speed fluorescence

High-speed live cell experiments require a seamlessly integrated system composed of sophisticated software control, fast fluorescence and sensitive cameras that work together to deliver the highest quality imaging results.

With the DFC9000 sCMOS camera, you get not only the cutting-edge in camera technology, but also a perfect match to maximize the imaging potential of the DMi8. 


Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence

For dynamic processes at the cell surface, TIRF (Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence) microscopy is the method of choice to visualize cellular events with minimal fluorescent interference from out-of-focus light.

With the Leica DMi8 TIRF system, you can observe samples with outstanding clarity, control, and confidence.

Standard imaging port matches 19 mm diagonal of DFC9000 sensor. See 41% more at a glance and be 30% faster during tile scans.

External Filter Wheel

Leica Microsystems’ External Filter Wheels for living cell applications are fast, vibration-free, and exceptionally versatile. Use the fast filter wheels for excitation, attenuation and emission control to capture cellular events at the speed of life.

Excitation and emission light can be selected in just 24 milliseconds (acquisition speed: 31 fps), and individual excitation colors can be attenuated just as quickly.

Outstanding image quality

The best image quality combines superior optics with intelligent innovations for live cell research.

Simplify adaption to your sample’s refractive index with an objective with motorized correction collar. During long term imaging, the Water Immersion Microdispenser counteracts water evaporation when as an immersion medium. Or choose an objective dedicated to live cell imaging at 37°C, like the 63x glycerol objective. Maintain the sharpest images with ease.

Innovative accessories like the MotCorr objectives ensure that the objective matches the refractive index of your sample. 


Image Gallery: THUNDER Imager

To help you answer important scientific questions, THUNDER Imagers eliminate the out-of-focus blur that clouds the view of thick samples when using…

Leica Science Lab

How can PAULA help streamline the workflow for my wound healing assay?

The wound healing assay, often used as a synonym for scratch assay or migration assay, is an important tool for the evaluation and measurement of cell…

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THUNDER Technology Note

So far, widefield microscopy was not suitable to image larger volumes, since the contrast of the recorded fluorescence image is reduced by the…

Leica Science Lab
MDCK cells, Phase Contrast, red outlines are marking the cell borders. Courtesy of Prof. Ralf Jacob, University of Marburg, Germany

Confluency Check with PAULA Cell Imager

Many cell-based experiments require cells in a certain state. This can include their morphology,  fluorescent protein expression, and the confluency…

Leica Science Lab

Simultaneously Measuring Image Features and Resolution in Live-Cell STED Images

Reliable interpretation and quantification of cellular features in fluorescence microscopy requires an accurate estimate of microscope resolution.…

Leica Science Lab

Solvent immersion imprint lithography

We expand upon our recent, fundamental report on solvent immersion imprint lithography (SIIL) and describe a semi-automated and high-performance…

Leica Science Lab

Adipose Stem Cells Display Higher Regenerative Capacities and More Adaptable Electro-Kinetic Properties Compared to Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells

Adipose stem cells (ASCs) have recently emerged as a more viable source for clinical applications, compared to bone-marrow mesenchymal stromal cells…

Leica Science Lab

Introduction to Mammalian Cell Culture

Mammalian cell culture is one of the basic pillars of life sciences. Without the ability to grow cells in the lab, the fast progress in disciplines…

Leica Science Lab

Graphene-Based Microbots for Toxic Heavy Metal Removal and Recovery from Water

Heavy metal contamination in water is a serious risk to the public health and other life forms on earth. Current research in nanotechnology is…

Leica Science Lab

Real Time Observation of Neutrophil White Blood Cell Recruitment to Bacterial Infection In Vivo

The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an emerging vertebrate model organism to study infection. The transparent larva comprises a fully functional innate…

Leica Science Lab