Andor white-light system lowers cost of confocal microscopy

Feb. 23, 2010
Belfast, Northern Ireland--High-performance confocal microscopy can now be achieved using a white light source with Andor's Revolution DSD optical system.

Belfast, Northern Ireland--At the Biophysical Society 54th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA, Andor announced that high-performance confocal microscopy can now be achieved using a white light source. This follows the launch by Andor Technology of Revolution DSD, a new fully integrated system based on a unique, Differential Spinning Disk optical system working in conjunction with an Andor Clara high-sensitivity interline CCD camera and controlled by an IQ work station (see also "Andor Technology acquires Bitplane").

Using white light, as opposed to lasers, significantly cuts the cost and brings this form of microscopy within the budget of more potential users, particularly as this new, compact solution will fit the side port of any microscope. One of the keys to the performance of the new Andor Revolution DSD white-light confocal system is its use of active background subtraction, which has the ability to deliver purely confocal or wide-field images. As a result, switching between techniques is unusually simple for a confocal system, and it simplifies binding and accurate focusing of the specimen.

The patented spinning disk can be selected: one provides 50% transmission; the other 25%, making it ideal for sectioning thicker specimens. Although this new white-light confocal system cannot yet match the performance of laser spinning disk-based alternatives (such as Revolution XD, also available from Andor), it is ideal for applications where moderate frame rates per second and where low magnification renders other instruments less useful. By creating a new entry point into confocal microscopy, it will broaden considerably the utility of this technique.

Mark Browne, director of Microscopy Systems Division with Andor Technology, said, "We're bringing to live cell researchers an entry point confocal spinning disk system that can be immediately operational since it integrates with any microscope. White light is especially relevant to today's live research needs and once again, Andor will help scientists push the boundaries of the visible."

--Posted by Gail Overton; [email protected];

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