Microscopy Today 2014 Innovation Award for Leica Microsystems’ Super-Resolution System Leica SR GSD 3D

Wetzlar, Germany. August 6, 2014, Leica Microsystems’ super-resolution system Leica SR GSD 3D is honored with the Microscopy Today 2014 Innovation Award for the capability of acquiring three-dimensional super-resolution images. Microscopy Today, the journal of the Microscopy Society of America, annually distinguishes ten achievements that are selected for their importance and usefulness to the microscopy community. Since its market launch in 2011, the GSDIM/dSTORM system Leica SR GSD and its successor Leica SR GSD 3D won several prizes – among them “The Scientist Magazine – Top Ten Innovations Award” in 2011 and 2013, as well as the “R&D 100 Award 2012”. The Microscopy Today 2014 Innovation Award coincides with Leica Microsystems’ celebration of 10 years of Leica Super-Resolution Innovation.

“We are proud to be honored with the Microscopy Today 2014 Innovation Award,” says Dr. Peter Laskey, Product Manager at Leica Microsystems. “It proves what a significant enhancement the 3D functionality actually is for researchers. The system enables scientists to study cellular structures in near-natural conditions that are three-dimensional by nature. As the system is easy to use and works with common fluorescent dyes, multi-channel, three-dimensional GSDIM/dSTORM images are available within a few minutes.”

The capability of acquiring three-dimensional super-resolution images was introduced in 2013, allowing researchers to achieve an axial resolution of 50 nm and a lateral resolution of 20 nm. The new ability offers a huge advantage to cell biologists studying the organization and behavior of sub-cellular structures beyond the diffraction limit in 3D to advance their research. Many of these structures of interest fall far below the resolving abilities of conventional microscope systems, thereby imposing a fundamental limit on the information that can be collected. Super-resolution microscopes reveal previously invisible details with up to 10x greater resolution. The Leica SR GSD, predecessor to the Leica SR GSD 3D, improved resolution in the x/y planes, but offered no additional resolving power in z. The Leica SR GSD 3D overcomes this obstacle by using an astigmatism-based optical approach to extract additional super-resolution information from specimens. The system can now assign z-coordinates to signals from single molecules, allowing it to precisely map their 3D coordinates.

Currently Leica Microsystems looks back on a decade of experience developing super-resolution microscopy systems. Starting with the Leica TCS 4Pi in 2004, Leica Microsystems continued to pioneer other super-resolution techniques. The confocal solution is based on Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED). The Innovation Award winning widefield system uses a technology known as Ground State Depletion followed by Individual Molecule Return (GSDIM). Both techniques were developed at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, Germany, by Professor Stefan Hell. Through close collaboration with scientific users, Leica Microsystems made these technologies commercially available, and this year celebrates the 10th anniversary of Super-Resolution Innovation with the slogan “Vive La Résolution!”

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