CC LEDs replace metal halide fluorescence microscopy

Thursday 23rd August 2007

The computer-controllable Colibri high-performance LED light source from Carl Zeiss is designed to replace metal halide light sources in fluorescence microscopy applications, particularly for live cell imaging and other procedures involving sensitive living specimens.

The unit provides up to 10 precise excitation wavelengths that can be switched in microseconds with no heat or vibration, resulting in finely detailed, high-contrast images. Rather than switching between wavelengths using filters, Colibri uses LEDS that are optoelectronically switched at extremely high speeds -- an asset in multiwavelength and kinetic studies.

The intensity of the narrow-band LEDs can be rapidly and accurately set for any wavelength, either from Zeiss’s AxioVision software or directly from the manual controller. This allows users to balance the intensity of multiple excitation wavelengths and to capture the result in a single image.

Fine intensity control also offers maximum specimen protection, and the narrow emission band produces a high signal-to-noise ratio, which enables detection of weak signals and fine details. The reproducibility of the illumination conditions is especially important in medical diagnostics, in which documentation must meet GxP guidelines.

LEDs convert electricity very efficiently into light and, unlike traditional light sources, generate no radiant heat. Microscope incubators can be used immediately, with no waiting for thermal conditions to stabilise or heat build-up to subside. It also results in more stable conditions for prolonged experiments.

Ten narrow-band LED modules offering wavelengths from UV to dark red, matching the most commonly used fluorescent dyes, are available. Up to four may be installed in the Colibri at any time and changing the LED modules and beam combiners is a quick and simple job.

The LED modules are equipped with automatic component recognition (ACR) preventing the use of incorrect wavelengths during experimentation. The unit also incorporates a motorized coupler for an additional white light source for added flexibility.

The Colibri will operate as a stand-alone unit on upright and inverted, manual and motorised microscopes, and can be integrated with any version of AxioVision software.


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