Confocal microscopy



The LSM800 inverted microscope is designed to image in 3 fluorescent modes: widefield, laser scanning confocal and Airyscan. This system also enables live cell imaging.

Airyscan is an array detector that relies on the fact that a fluorescence microscope will image a point-like source not as a point but as a more extended structure (called Airy disk, which can be compared to concentric circles around the point to be imaged). Standard laser scanning confocal microscopes use a combination of pinhole and sensitive single point detector. When the pinhole is closed to block out-of-focus light, the image is sharper, but it’s also dimmer since a large amount of light is then lost. The smaller the pinhole, the higher the resolution, but – equally – the bigger the loss in light. Airyscan technology solves this dilemma between resolution and light efficiency by imaging the complete Airy disk onto a concentrically arranged hexagonal detector array. It consists of 32 single detector elements (each GaAsp element working as a single, very small, pinhole) which collect all the light of the Airy disk otherwise rejected by the confocal pinhole. The signals from all detector elements are then reassigned to their correct position, producing an image with increased signal-to-noise ratio (4 fold) and resolution (1.7 fold compared to GaASP detectors). For more details...


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