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Is confocal microscopy obsolete?

Super-resolution microscopy is at the forefront of biomedical science today, but does it supersede confocal microscopy?

Of course not! In fact, the opposite is true – good confocal imaging is the ideal base from which to blast off on a journey beyond the diffraction limit.

Confocal Microscopy alone provides better lateral resolution than the Abbe limit, if operated in the appropriate regime. And only confocal microscopes that perform at high sensitivity and low noise can benefit from these confocal-inherent resolution improvements. In combination with sensible and professional image information extraction, it is possible to achieve resolution of 120 nm resolution and beyond, at high speed and multiple channels simultaneously, all without having to tinker endlessly with the optical setup.

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Contact a local specialist for advice on the right super-resolution or nanoscopy system for your needs.

Transform your confocal microscope into a super-resolution microscope

Leica’s LIGHTNING detection package transforms a confocal microscope into a super-resolution microscope. Teaming ingenious inventions with smart implementation has resulted in a confocal microscope with continuously tunable filter functions, the Leica TCS SP8. It seamlessly adapts to any dye or dye combination you may want to employ. As a second pillar, the tunable elements provide maximal transmission. This prevents loss of your precious emission, whilst enabling very thin sectioning conditions. After all, optical sectioning is the main reason for buying a confocal microscope.

Don't overload your optical beam path!

High sensitivity and thin optical sections then merge with scientific image information extraction to result in super-resolved images with high contrast and very low noise. That is exactly what you need.

LIGHTNING does not overload the optical beam path with additional elements, no fibers are required to transmit the emission and no optics are needed to adapt the diffraction pattern. All channels can operate in parallel in super-resolution mode, at all magnifications and wavelengths independently, including UV- and IR-excitation. And it is available for non-descanning detector signals too.

If you want to image living samples speed is what matters. The Leica TCS SP8 offers truly parallel channel recording, ensuring no decrease in imaging speed, whatever configuration you choose.

Compare the results: 3 channel simultaneous acquisition of COS7 cells with HyVolution super-resolved (right) versus confocal (left). Green: Mitochondria (Oregon Green 488), red: Actin (SiR), white: Tubulin (TMR). Sample courtesy of Dr. Jana Doehner, Center of Microscopy and Image Analysis, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


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