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LIGHTNING Leica Leica Microsystems
Chromosomes. Raw confocal
Chromosomes. LIGHTNING

One click ahead: The most relevant image information

Microscopic images, even confocal images, contain more details than conventional acquisition methods are able to recognize. The new LIGHTNING image information extraction solution from Leica Microsystems reveals a lot more of the information present in your images. It is fully automated and can be used for real time imaging of any specimen and for any type of experiment.

You benefit from an unparalleled extraction of the sought-after information from the image. The solution’s adaptive image reconstruction works in real time and 5D. It determines dynamically the quintessential information for every location in the image. While the usual image post-processing follows a one-way-fits-all strategy, LIGHTNING achieves superior results even during the image acquisition.

Confocal images acquired with LIGHTNING appear as if a layer of noise has been removed from them compared to what has been the standard so far. The resulting images reveal a clear and unobstructed view of the relevant information. In addition, LIGHTNING image information extraction extends the resolution of the SP8 confocal microscope into super-resolution territory - nanostructures as small as 120 nm can be resolved.

LIGHTNING decision mask

The LIGHTNING decision mask ensures to apply the best fitting reconstruction strategy for each specific volume element.

Different image quality measures are displayed in pseudo-colors ranging from purple (low image quality) to red (high image quality).

This constitutes the strong contrast to other, traditional methods that apply global effective reconstruction schemes.

Obtain great results in real time

LIGHTNING uncovers important image information even when using ambitious imaging conditions. It allows you to master even cases with limited photon count and ultra-fast imaging.

LIGHTNING image information extraction uses a smart combination of system parameters, image data, and optimized GPU processing. This combination is the basis for getting the most information out of your imaging.

The deep integration of LIGHTNING with the image acquisition process allows you to apply image restoration on the fly. You can feed the additional image information gained by LIGHTNING back into the acquisition parameter setup right away, thus saving time - get it right straightaway.

FluoCells mouse intestine section

  • B&w Alexa Fluor 350 WGA mucus of goblet cells
  • Green SYTOX Green Nuclei
  • Red Alexa Fluor 568 phalloidin filamentous actin (brush border)
Intestine section. Raw confocal
Intestine section. LIGTHNING

Multiple colors and super-resolution simultaneously

LIGHTNING image information extraction allows multicolor super-resolution acquisition with high speed. The filter-free spectral detection system of the TCS SP8 can collect up to five channels simultaneously.

Multichannel acquisition allows much faster parallel data collection compared to solutions with only one super-resolution channel. You acquire eight multicolor images with a TCS SP8 microscope using LIGHTNING in the same time it takes single-detector solutions to produce only one single-color image.

Super-resolution in real-time

Standard confocal systems sacrifice speed for resolution.

LIGHTNING keeps the speed of image acquisition. The full framerate of the TCS SP8 microscope (40 fps @ 512 x 512 pixels) is maintained in all channels. Each channel offers super-resolution down to 120 nm. This setup is superior to those where only a single channel with super-resolution is combined with standard confocal channels.

This capability allows you to capture at the nanoscale dynamic events that occur even on the millisecond timescale. So you can observe cellular dynamics in great detail and with unprecedented sharpness.

Paramecium. Left, raw image. Right, LIGHTNING. Sample: courtesy of Anne Aubusson-Fleury, CNRS 12BC, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Leica Application Suite (LAS) X LIGHTNING

Reproducible results with optimal settings

Confocal imaging with LIGHTNING image information extraction is based on adaptive intelligence technology which optimizes the image for every probed location in the specimen. The final set of parameters is stored with each image so the imaging conditions are fully documented and, as a result, reproducible. You can be assured that information and insights extracted from LIGHTNING images meet your specific scientific requirements.

LIGHTNING is directly integrated into the SP8 system and covers all confocal imaging modalities. This allows imaging with optimal resolution and speed. Set up all resolution-relevant parameters using one slider.

In addition, LIGHTNING offers:

  • Integrated online image acquisition – no post-processing needed
  • Management of large data sets created by time-lapse recording, Mark & Find, Tile Scan, or Navigator
  • Visualization of LIGHTNING 3D data with the LAS X 3D Viewer
  • Analysis of LIGHTNING images with LAS X Quantify Tools

Capture image data on the fly

Integrated into the data acquisition stream, today’s GPUs take the LIGHTNING image information extraction to a new level when it comes to speed. LIGHTNING fully supports the NVIDIA CUDA platform which leverages the highly parallelized and system optimized computation on GPU.

You can benefit from the underlying constrained iterative approach for image reconstruction. Based upon optics principles, it is the correct way to reveal the information contained in your images - in an instant.