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Cultured Cortical Neurons (original raw data)
Taken with THUNDER Imager 3D Cell Culture

Cultured Cortical Neurons. Green, beta-III-tubulin; blue, Nuclei.
Image stack of 59 planes for a volume of 21 µm, was acquired using a THUNDER Imager 3D Cell Culture. Raw image compared to one image acquired using THUNDER Large Volume Computational Clearing. Sample Courtesy: FAN GmbH, Magdeburg (Germany).

High throughput for better statistics and workflow efficiency

Automate your 3D cell culture assays to study next-generation disease models efficiently. THUNDER enables you to image large sample volumes, such as lung organoids, at high speed. In addition, the automation minimizes user interaction even for complex experiments.

The outcome is:

  • precise and reliable data in less time
  • higher throughput
  • better statistics and results

Optimal physiological conditions - minimum light exposure

For 3D cell culture, observing the true physiology is paramount for meaningful results. Typically, you want to investigate your cells while they are in a close to natural state by optimizing experimental conditions, e.g., the lowest light intensity and shortest exposure times possible.

THUNDER Imager Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture meets these demands with a high-end LED source that has a small bandwidth optimized for excitation. Even with low illumination and short exposure times, the sensitive high-end sCMOS camera delivers meaningful image information thanks to a quantum efficiency of up to 82%.

To further reduce exposure of the sample to light, illumination is limited to the actual recording time. The camera shutter is synchronized with the high-speed (20 µs switching time) Lumencor LED light source to minimize photobleaching.

THUNDER Imager Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture is based on a fully motorized DMi8 microscope, Quantum Stage, highly sensitive DFC9000 GTC camera, and multi-line, high-intensity fluorescence LED light source. It is optimized for fast and precise multi-position, multi-channel imaging of 3D cell cultures.
Mouse lung organoids derived from alveola stem and progenitor cells. Sample courtesy Dr. Pumaree Kanrai, MPI for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim (Germany).

Image at the speed of life – Cellular processes

Life is fast, especially for a cell. Most modern live cell imaging experiments demand high-speed systems.

THUNDER Imager Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture provides you with the power of highly sensitive sCMOS camera-based fluorescence systems working with full frames in one shot.

In combination with high sensitivity, THUNDER Imager Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture allows you to capture data at up to 90 frames per second, helping you to observe fast cellular events. It captures blur-free image data quickly even deep inside a thick 3D cell cluster. You can stay on top of fast processes even during multiple emission wavelength experiments thanks to fast-switching external filter wheels (< 27 ms).

Keep the right environment while observing your live cell cultures

THUNDER Imager Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture has all you need to maintain your cells at a close to natural state. The incubator ensures optimal physiological conditions for living cell cultures, such as system stability, humidity, temperature, and carbon dioxide level (pH value).

Thanks to the water immersion microdispenser, you can use a water-immersion objective for multiwell workflows even when you are doing long-term experiments. Water immersion objectives enable higher light collection leading to acquisition of cell images with higher contrast and resolution.

Cultured VERO cells stained with STAR488 Vimentin (green), STAR580 Tom20 (yellow), and DAPI (blue). Sample courtesy Abberior GmbH, Göttingen (Germany).

Master time-lapse multi-position experiments: tracking cell changes

THUNDER Imager Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture offer both speed and reliability for your 3D cell culture multiwell experiments. For example, when tracking the growth and development of spheroids and organoids, its speed and reliability allows you to obtain excellent results.

Accurate time-lapse multi-position experiments and tracking of cell changes are achieved with this THUNDER Imager due to:

  • Reliable drift correction with the Adaptive Focus Control (AFC)
  • Software autofocus that compensates for changes in specimen position
  • Reproducible Z-positioning with a precision of up to 20 nm (closed-loop focus)

Get more data points in less time with the new Quantum Stage. It moves rapidly and accurately (e.g. 10 positions per second) to all positions with an excellent repeatability (< ±0.25 µm), as there is no jiggling.

Routine, reliable data acquisition

THUNDER Imager Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture enable reliable image data acquisition with accurate focus maintained on the live cells at all times.

Live cell imaging is often tricky, because of drift, morphology change, or growth of the cells. Drift is caused by vibrations, mechanical creep, or temperature fluctuations. Both drift and cell changes can reduce the reliability of the acquired image data, as focus becomes an issue. Thanks to the Adaptive Focus Control (AFC), closed-loop focus, and software autofocus, THUNDER Imager Live Cell & 3D Cell Culture reliably maintains focus for your multi well experiments. 

Find the THUNDER Imager that’s right for you

Whether you are looking for a dedicated high-end imaging system that excels in a given application, or a versatile solution for a lab running different kinds of assays with various samples, we’ve got you covered.

The table puts the core strengths of our high-end THUNDER Imager 3D Cell Culture and Live Cell side-by-side with the profile of our entry-level THUNDER Imager 3D Assay.

Which THUNDER Imager is best to use for the applications: Monolayer Cell Culture, 3D Cell Culture, Model Organisms, Live Imaging, Imaging 96-well plates, Imaging Tissue Sections, Photomanipulation or Ablation?
Developing zebrafish pancreas - Widefield image
After Computational Clearing - THUNDER Imager 3D Assay

Images courtesy of Radhan Ramadass and Yu Hsuan at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim (Germany)

Developing Zebrafish Pancreas

The THUNDER Imager 3D Assay enabled clear identification of Alpha (GFP-green) and Beta (mCardinal-red) cells within a developing zebrafish pancreas.

Imaged in the blue (Hoechst), green (GFP), and red (mCardinal) channels, this 150-image z-stack was completed with all channels within a minute.

Physiological conditions can be maintained within a sample by minimizing photobleaching, providing high-performance imaging, and high-throughput of data, leading to better workflow efficiency.

Interested to know more?

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  • Leica Microsystems Inc.
    1700 Leider Lane
    Buffalo Grove, IL 60089United States
    Office Phone: +1 800 248 0123
    Service Phone: 1 800 248 0223
    Fax: +1 847-236-3009

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