Maximized flexibility for multicolor experiments

Gain complete spectral freedom to choose and combine the right fluorophores with STELLARIS next-generation white light laser (WLL) to find the answer to your scientific question. Image more fluorophore combinations than with any other confocal platform and study more events within your sample at the same time.

STELLARIS next generation WLL has been optimized with an extended spectral output in the red and near-infrared, enabling you to expand your experiment with up to 3 more colors without increasing the experiment complexity.

Download WLL Application Note

Images of Cos-7 cells, labeled with SiR-Actin (657 – 740nm detection range), AF750-Tom20 (760 – 790nm), AF790-Tubulin (810 – 850nm). Sample courtesy of Jana Döhner, Urs Ziegler, University of Zürich.

Zebrafish posterior lateral line primordium migration. Membranes: cyan GFP: Nuclei: magenta, tdTomato. Imaging performed with resonant scanner, Dynamic Signal Enhancement and LIGHTNING. Sample courtesy: Jonas Hartmann, Gilmour Group, EMBL Heidelberg.

Gentle live cell imaging

STELLARIS enables you to image for longer periods, while maintaining physiological conditions and sample integrity, thanks to efficient signal acquisition at the lowest levels of illumination:

  • Optimally tuned excitation and detection provided by the Power HyD detector family and white light laser (WLL) combination.
  • High detection efficiency in the green/blue segment of the spectrum, where green (GFP) or yellow (YFP) fluorescent proteins are imaged.
  • Perform long acquisitions for high-resolution 3D reconstructions or capture dynamic events with low phototoxicity and photobleaching.

The POTENTIAL to discover more

STELLARIS unique TauSense technology allows you to extract a new dimension of information from every sample and increase the scientific impact of your research. TauSense comprises application-oriented imaging tools based on fluorescence lifetime to explore the function of molecules within cellular context.

  • TauContrast provides immediate access to functional information such as metabolic status, pH and ion concentration
  • TauGating improves the quality of your images by removing unwanted fluorescence contributions
  • TauSeparation helps you expand the combination of fluorescent signals in your experiment

Download TauSense application note

Traditional Confocal

Zebrafish embryo. Green: Blood vessels, EGFP / Magenta: Nuclei, Hoechst. Blood vessels labeling identified using TauContrast; the lifetime-derived information distinguishes the blood vessels signal from endogenous signal contributions. Sample courtesy: Julien Vermot, IGBMC, Strasbourg.

Traditional Confocal

Root-hypocotyl-junction of Arabidopsis thaliana. Image acquired with TauContrast. Actin: Lifeact-Venus (Era et al.Plant Cell Physiol., 2009); chloroplasts: endogenous fluorescence; membranes: red, Propidium iodide. Sample courtesy: Melanie Krebs, COS, University of Heidelberg.

TauContrast: Explore a new dimension of information

Fluorescence lifetime can change with a fluorophore’s microenvironment, such as pH or ion concentration.

TauContrast provides immediate access to functional information, such as metabolic status, pH, and ion concentration, based upon these changes in lifetime.

TauContrast generates images from the average photon-arrival time of each pixel and the number of photons counted. Contrast is produced in the image based on different average arrival times due to the changing microenvironment, e.g., high calcium vs. low calcium conditions.

TauGating for improved image quality

While imaging your sample, you may come across unwanted fluorescence contributions which overlap with the desired fluorescence signal, making your images difficult to interpret or even unusable. TauGating helps you maximize detection efficiency by removing unwanted fluorescence while maintaining the desired signal.

TauGating identifies the different photon-arrival times from the fluorescent signals, so you can eliminate those that come from unspecific signal contributions.

Live HeLa cells stained with WGA CF680. Reflection removed by TauGating.
Traditional Confocal (2 detectors, 2 intensity channels)
STELLARIS (2 detectors, 4 lifetime-based channels)

Fluorescence lifetime-based multicolor imaging in live NE-115 cells. Actin: LifeAct-mNeonGreen (left: yellow, right: red); mitochondria: MitoTracker Green (left: yellow, right: green); nuclei: NUC Red (left: gray, right: blue); and tubulin: SiR-tubulin (left: gray, right: magenta). Imaging performed with TauSeparation. Sample courtesy: Max Heydasch, University of Bern, and Spirochrome.

TauSeparation: Multiplex beyond spectral options

TauSeparation enables you to differentiate species based on their fluorescence lifetime instead of fluorescence spectra. Using traditional confocal microscopy, it would be extremely challenging or impossible to differentiate two fluorescent probes with similar emission spectra. Using TauSeparation, the signals are assigned to two different channels based on their different lifetimes and can, therefore, be visualized as two separate images.

Using fluorescence lifetime-derived information, TauSeparation effortlessly expands the number of simultaneous detection channels that can be used in each experiment.

The PRODUCTIVITY to do more

  • Streamlined setup and acquisition: ImageCompass, the STELLARIS smart user interface, provides users with an easy and intuitive way to set up even the most complex experiments with just a few clicks
  • Simply fast: Superb image quality in real time and at full speed with the LIGHTNING super-resolution and Dynamic Signal Enhancement (DSE)
  • Optimize your experiment: Tools like Navigator are seamlessly integrated for straightforward imaging

ImageCompass – Simple, even for complex experiments

STELLARIS redefines the image acquisition workflow with ImageCompass, its smart user interface. It readily adapts the system configuration to your unique sample requirements and chosen fluorophore combination.

  • Set up complex multicolor experiments correctly with drag-and-drop tools that match each fluorophore to the appropriate detector.
  • Maximum signal yield via automatic optimization of excitation and detection parameters.
  • Optimal setup and easy control over image acquisition thanks to a cockpit view of your entire experiment configuration.
  • Seamless access to imaging tools: TauSense, LIGHTNING, Dynamic Signal Enhancement (DSE), and Navigator.

ImageCompass smart user interface. Set up of a multicolor experiment.

Vesicle dynamics in live cells expressing EGFP-hRab-5A. Imaging performed with resonant scanner (50 fps) and Dynamic Signal Enhancement. Sample Courtesy: Sandra Ritz, Microscopy & Histology Core Facility, Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Mainz. EGFP-hRAB5A was a kind donation of Marino Zerial.

Fast across scales in time and space

The LIGHTNING detection concept is fully integrated to extend STELLARIS into super-resolution territory with just a click.

STELLARIS also includes Dynamic Signal Enhancement (DSE), with the new AI Feature AiviaMotion, a powerful digital tool that can increase the signal-to-noise ratio while maintaining temporal resolution. DSE allows you to capture biological events in detail while the structures and objects in your sample move.

The combination of LIGHTNING with resonant scanner and DSE enables you to adapt to your sample’s dynamics so you have the best possible spatial and temporal resolution.

Relevant details, instantly identified

The LAS X Navigator software is like a GPS for your experiment. This powerful tool can quickly switch from searching image by image to seeing a full overview of your sample, so you can create fast overviews of your sample and identify the important details instantly.

With LAS X Navigator, it is possible to increase your viewing area up to 10,000x while simultaneously streamlining the process of pinpointing areas of interest from the sample overview.

3D image of a daisy pollen sample across multiple fields of view. Imaging performed with TauContrast and LAS X Navigator.

Features & Modalities



Power HyD S



Power HyD X


Power HyD R



WLL 485 – 685nm


WLL 440 – 790 nm



Back-to-light WLL service










Dynamic signal enhancement

















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STELLARIS 5 delivers the very best of our platform. It is a completely re-imagined core system that sets a new standard for confocal microscopy. It is the only confocal system with an integrated WLL, combined with our proprietary Acousto-Optical Beam Splitter (AOBS) and new Power HyD S detectors. Together with the new and unique TauSense technology, STELLARIS 5 sets a new standard for the quality of images and quantity of information generated. This perfected imaging performance is easily attainable thanks to the smart user interface, ImageCompass, which guides you through your experiment set up and acquisition in an easy and intuitive manner.


STELLARIS 8 is a forward-looking system, offering all the benefits of the STELLARIS 5 core system plus added functionality thanks to an extended spectrum WLL and specialized detector options of the Power HyD family. This allows you to expand the range of confocal applications in your research. STELLARIS 8 can be combined with all Leica Microsystems modalities, including FAst Lifetime CONtrast (FALCON), Deep In Vivo Explorer (DIVE), STED, Digital Light Sheet (DLS) and CARS. STELLARIS 8 new features maximize the potential of these modalities and give you the power and potential to set new standards for research.

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