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  • Primary Beam Splitting Devices for Confocal Microscopes

    Current fluorescence microscopy employs incident illumination which requires separation of illumination and emission light. The classical device performing this separation is a color-dependent beam splitting mirror which has fixed spectral parameters and transmits the emission usually between 90% and 98% within the designated bands. Transmission is wavelength dependent and also differs by technology, requirements and design. An alternative is the acousto optical beam splitter which has freely tunable reflection notches and transmits the emission on average at 95% between these notches.
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  • Pinhole Effect in Confocal Microscopes

    When operating a confocal microscope, or when discussing features and parameters of such a device, we inescapably mention the pinhole and its diameter. This short introductory document is meant to explain the significance of the pinhole for those, who did not want to spend too much time to dig into theory and details of confocal microscopy but wanted to have an idea about the effect of the pinhole.
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  • Clarifying Tissue Clearing

    Biological specimens are intrinsically three dimensional; however because of the obscuring effects of light scatter, imaging deep into a tissue volume is problematic. Although efforts to eliminate the scatter by “clearing” the tissue have been ongoing for over a century, there have been a large number of recent innovations. This review introduces the physical basis for light-scatter in tissue, describes the mechanisms underlying various clearing techniques, and discusses several of the major advances in light microscopy for imaging cleared tissue.
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  • Chronic Inflammation Under the Microscope

    In the course of chronic inflammation certain body areas are recurrently inflamed. This goes along with many human diseases. With the help of widefield light microscopy, the underlying processes can be examined from a cellular level to whole organisms. This article presents several widefield microscopy applications such as immunofluorescence, live-cell imaging, histology, and ratiometric analysis to get insight into the development of chronic inflammation, the related diseases, and their treatment.
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  • Methods to Calibrate and Scale Axial Distances in Confocal Microscopy as a Function of Refractive Index

    Application example of HyVolution Super-Resolution - Accurate distance measurement in 3D confocal microscopy is important for quantitative analysis, volume visualization and image restoration. However, axial distances can be distorted by both the point spread function (PSF) and by a refractive-index mismatch between the sample and immersion liquid, which are difficult to separate. Additionally, accurate calibration of the axial distances in confocal microscopy remains cumbersome, although several high-end methods exist. In this paper we present two methods to calibrate axial distances in 3D confocal microscopy that are both accurate and easily implemented.
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  • Multispectral Phloem-Mobile Probes: Properties and Applications

    Using Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seedlings, we identified a range of small fluorescent probes that entered the translocation stream and were unloaded at the root tip. These probes had absorbance/emission maxima ranging from 367/454 to 546/576 nm and represent a versatile toolbox for studying phloem transport. Of the probes that we tested, naturally occurring fluorescent coumarin glucosides (esculin and fraxin) were phloem loaded and transported in oocytes by the sucrose transporter, AtSUC2. Arabidopsis plants in which AtSUC2 was replaced with barley (Hordeum vulgare) sucrose transporter (HvSUT1), which does not transport esculin in oocytes, failed to load esculin into the phloem.
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  • P53- and Mevalonate Pathway–Driven Malignancies Require Arf6 for Metastasis and Drug Resistance

    Application example of HvYolution Super-Resolution - Drug resistance, metastasis, and a mesenchymal transcriptional program are central features of aggressive breast tumors. The GTPase Arf6, often overexpressed in tumors, is critical to promote epithelial–mesenchymal transition and invasiveness. The metabolic mevalonate pathway (MVP) is associated with tumor invasiveness and known to prenylate proteins, but which prenylated proteins are critical for MVP-driven cancers is unknown. We show here that MVP requires the Arf6-dependent mesenchymal program.
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  • Webinar: Introduction to Fluorescence Microscopy

    In this seminar we will provide an overview about the latest advances in fluorescence microscopy. You will learn how you can use widefield and confocal microscopes to help you understand life’s questions down to tiny details, at high speed and state-of-the-art image quality both in living and fixed samples.
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  • Adeno-associated Viral Vectors do not Efficiently Target Muscle Satellite Cells

    Adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors are becoming an important tool for gene therapy of numerous genetic and other disorders. Several recombinant AAV vectors (rAAV) have the ability to transduce striated muscles in a variety of animals following intramuscular and intravascular administration, and have attracted widespread interest for therapy of muscle disorders such as the muscular dystrophies. Here we examined the relative ability of rAAV vectors derived from AAV6 to target myoblasts, myocytes, and myotubes in culture and satellite cells and myofibers in vivo. AAV vectors are able to transduce proliferating myoblasts in culture, albeit with reduced efficiency relative to postmitotic myocytes and myotubes. In contrast, quiescent satellite cells are refractory to transduction in adult mice.
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  • HyVolution – Super-Resolution Imaging with a Confocal Microscope

    Since the invention of the microscope, there has been continual discussion about the possibility of showing more detailed features of specimens as compared to just magnifying them. In this article we describe the HyVolution concept and how the combination of confocal multiparameter fluorescence imaging at the confocal super-resolution regime with psf-based real deconvolution allows high-speed multicolor imaging with a resolution down to 140 nm.
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  • HyVolution – the Smart Path to Confocal Super-Resolution

    Super-resolution refers to any device or method that can resolve better than the classical Abbe limit. Apart from infinite super-resolution techniques such as STED (stimulated emission depletion) and SMLM (single-molecule localization methods) that can theoretically resolve to any detail, there are also methods for limited super-resolution. Here we present HyVolution by Leica, which merges optical super-resolution and computational super-resolution. The optical part is provided by confocal microscopy, and the computational part by deconvolution. Lateral resolution of 140 nm is demonstrated. HyVolution offers multiple fluorescence recording in truly simultaneous mode.
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  • FRAP with TCS SP8 Resonant Scanner

    Fast FRAP experiments need a sufficient number of measurement points for meaningful interpretation and fitting analysis. To study very fast translocational processes, the use of a resonant scanner (RS) is preferred. The advantage in using FRAP with the RS is that statistics are much better in experiments that require fast acquisition: If the half time of recovery is about 0.5 sec you may have only about 3 to 4 data points using the conventional scanner, whereas with the resonant scanner you can get about 20 data points.
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  • Light Sheet Microscopy Turned Vertically

    Living cells and organisms often suffer from the high light intensities used for fluorescent imaging. Light sheet microscopy reduces phototoxic effects and bleaching by illuminating a specimen in only a single plane at a time. A new light sheet microscope combines light sheet and confocal microscopy in one system without compromising either functionality and allows the combination of the two methods, e.g. confocal photomanipulation with subsequent light sheet acquisition, for new applications.
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  • Progressive Glucose Stimulation of Islet Beta Cells Reveals a Transition From Segregated to Integrated Modular Functional Connectivity Patterns

    Collective beta cell activity in islets of Langerhans is critical for the supply of insulin within an organism. In order to get a detailed insight into the functional organization of the syncytium, we applied advanced analytical tools from the realm of complex network theory to uncover the functional connectivity pattern among cells composing the intact islet.
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  • From Light to Mind: Sensors and Measuring Techniques in Confocal Microscopy

    This article outlines the most important sensors used in confocal microscopy. By confocal microscopy, we mean "True Confocal Scanning", i.e. the technique that illuminates and measures one single point only. The aim is not to impart in-depth specialist knowledge, but to give the user a small but clear overview of the differences between the various technologies and to advise on which sensor may be most suitable for which applications.
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  • "We can go home and the imaging is done automatically by the Leica HCS A Matrix Screener."

    Jutta Maria Bulkescher is the technical coordinator in the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research and Danish Stem Cell Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Leica HCS-A matrix screener is an invaluable tool for her facility. "It just gives us the biggest and easiest flexibility we can have to set up different imaging paramters and to check different conditions on one multi-well plate", explains Bulkescher.
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  • Detailed Morphological Characterisation of Hendra Virus Infection of Different Cell Types Using Super-Resolution and Conventional Imaging

    Hendra virus (HeV) is a pleomorphic virus belonging to the Paramyxovirus family. Our long-term aim is to understand the process of assembly of HeV virions. As a first step, we sought to determine the most appropriate cell culture system with which to study this process, and then to use this model to define the morphology of the virus and identify the site of assembly by imaging key virus encoded proteins in infected cells.
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  • Confocal and Digital Light Sheet Imaging

    Optical imaging instrumentation can magnify tiny objects, zoom in on distant stars and reveal details that are invisible to the naked eye. But it notoriously suffers from an annoying problem: the limited depth of field. Our eye-lens (an optical imaging instrument) has the same trouble, but our brain smartly removes all not-in-focus information before the signal reaches conscious cognition.
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  • Venturing into Uncharted Dimensions – the Fascination of Future Technologies

    Beyond the confines of the school curriculum, the young talent promotion program Initiative Junge Forscherinnen und Forscher e.V. (Initiative for Young Researchers) from Würzburg, Bavaria, has set itself the task of fostering an enthusiasm for natural sciences and future technologies in young people. Christoph Stolzenberger is one of the IJF’s science presenters. In his Experimentarium and NanoShuttle, he and his team of postgraduates inspire young researchers’ interest in the wonderful world of microstructures.
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  • Video: High Speed Scanning – With two Scanners in one System

    High speed scanning is necessary to image rapidly changing biological processes. With traditional scanning techniques, imaging speed is limited by the number of fluorophores in a specimen. And, rapid acquisition often comes at the cost of image resolution.
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  • How to Choose the Right Confocal Microscope for Your Lab?

    Confocal microscopy has come a very long way since its invention more than a half-century ago. Today, with novel technology driven by leading imaging companies, it has become the standard for fluorescence microscopy. Choosing the right confocal microscope for your specific research requires the appropriate mix of features related to resolution, sensitivity, and speed.
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  • Webinar: Basics of Confocal Microscopy

    In this webinar we will be covering the basics of confocal microscopy for those individuals who have had little or no prior experience with this technique. We will be discussing when to use this technique and will also be providing a demonstration on a Leica confocal microscope to show you just how powerful a technique this is.
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  • Smart Control for Resonant Galvo Scanners

    High time-resolution confocal microscopy (HTRCLSM) requires fast scanning devices. Whereas non-resonant galvo scanners allow full position control, but only at slow speed, resonant scanners allow ~25,000 lines per second, but offer much less positioning freedom. To still allow zoom and pan functions, several approaches have been tried, with varying success. The Leica confocal microscopes od the TCS series use a very smart solution that enables stepless zooming with short switching times.
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  • Characterization of Thin Films Using High Definition Confocal Microscopy

    Thin film characterization technologies are in high demand, given the wide-spread use of coatings in all engineering and science fields. The properties of thin films can vary dramatically, i.e. thickness, optical and electrical properties, hardness, etc., that is difficult to find a general purpose characterization technique.
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  • Huygens STED Deconvolution Quick Guide

    This document is intended to give Leica STED users a brief introduction to deconvolving images on Huygens Professional using images acquired with the Leica TCS SP8 STED 3X microscope. For a more detailed description of Huygens Professional, including additional features and tools, please visit the Manuals section of SVI (www.svi.nl).
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  • Functional Connectivity in Islets of Langerhans from Mouse Pancreas Tissue Slices

    We propose a network representation of electrically coupled beta cells in islets of Langerhans. Beta cells are functionally connected on the basis of correlations between calcium dynamics of individual cells, obtained by means of confocal laser-scanning calcium imaging in islets from acute mouse pancreas tissue slices.
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  • The Effects of Peri-implantitis Decontamination Treatments on the Surface Roughness and Chemistry of a Titanium Alloy Used for Dental Implants: Implications for Bone Reintegration

    Titanium (Ti) alloys are biocompatible materials which are often used for human implants, especially in dentistry. For this study, different types of odontological (dental) treatments for peri-implantitis, an infection of the gum and dental tissue around the implant, were performed on a Ti-6Al-4V (TAV) alloy, typically used for implants, to study the effect on its surface roughness and chemistry.
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  • The Relationship Between Membrane Potential and Calcium Dynamics in Glucose-Stimulated Beta Cell Syncytium in Acute Mouse Pancreas Tissue Slices

    Oscillatory electrical activity is regarded as a hallmark of the pancreatic beta cell glucose-dependent excitability pattern. Electrophysiologically recorded membrane potential oscillations in beta cells are associated with in-phase oscillatory cytosolic calcium activity ([Ca2+]i) measured with fluorescent probes. Recent high spatial and temporal resolution confocal imaging revealed that glucose stimulation of beta cells in intact islets within acute tissue slices produces a [Ca2+]i change with initial transient phase followed by a plateau phase with highly synchronized [Ca2+]i oscillations.
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  • Acousto Optics in True Confocal Spectral Microscope Systems

    Acousto-optical elements have successfully replaced planar filters in many positions. The white confocal, regarded as the fully spectrally tunable confocal microscope, was not possible without this technique. Acousto-optical elements are highly transparent, quickly tunable and allow many colors to be managed simultaneously. As they show a strong dependence in polarization and have comparably small dimensions, their active part is used to modify and guide the laser illumination light, thereby leaving the principal beam (0th order) unaffected. Excitation color selection and attenuation (excitation filtering), as well as separation of illumination and detection light (beam splitting) are the main fields of application.
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