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Nikon Optimizes Perfect Focus System for Multi-Photon Microscopy

Nikon Instruments, an innovator of advanced optical instruments, today announced the release of the third generation Perfect Focus System. This new generation, consisting of two new models will be debuting at Neuroscience 2012. The new models of the TI-ND6-PFS-S Perfect Focus Unit have been optimized for UV-Visible imaging and Visible-IR Imaging for multi-photon microscopy.

Inverted research microscopes -- and their peripheral equipment -- have greatly contributed to the development and advancement of life science research throughout the years. Nikon's Perfect Focus system has been particularly revolutionary in this area, directly addressing the challenge of focus drift, which reduces the reliability of acquired data, specifically in long-term time-lapse observations using higher magnifications and resolutions. The new Perfect Focus Systems continue to combat this issue by keeping the focus precise and making corrections on a millisecond time-scale thanks to Nikon's proprietary optical offset method.

"For biological and medical researchers, the new Perfect Focus Systems are critical to support high-end life science experiments," said Stephen Ross, Ph.D., General Manager of Product and Marketing at Nikon Instruments Inc. "Whether you are studying the microstructure of cell interiors with systems like our N-STORM Super Resolution microscope, analyzing the activity in deep layers of brain as you can with multi-photon microscopy, or time-lapse imaging of iPS cell differentiation patterns, Perfect Focus has become an essential tool to ensure successful experiments."

Hallmarks of the new PFS systems include:

Improvement of usability

The newly designed PFS systems enable easier access to objective lenses and their correction collars. In addition, all PFS functions are now controlled through the PC or external controller, eliminating the need to open and close environmental chambers which can lead to disturbances in the imaging temperature.

Maintaining focus at deeper depths

The new PFS systems can correct for axial drifts and maintain focus at larger distances from the objective, for example, deeper depths in the imaging specimen. This new capability is not only relevant for developmental biology, but other fields of research as experimental trends move toward studying the dynamics of cells in their natural environment such as thick tissues or whole animals.

Increased flexibility in imaging wavelengths for multiphoton microscopy and optical trapping

The multiphoton model of the new PFS now offers compatibility with a larger range of imaging wavelengths, increasing the flexibility of fluorophores and lasers that can be used for multiphoton imaging and other near-infrared applications such as optical trapping/tweezers. The new MP PFS can correct for focus drifts even when imaging with wavelengths ranging from 880-1300nm.

Cost-saving plastic dish

In addition to glass bottom dishes, the plastic dish -- which is less expensive and suitable for cell culture -- can be used with the new PFS systems. Use of plastic dishes allows researchers to reduce running costs and simplify workflow, especially helpful for high-throughput screening applications that involve multi-well plates.

The Perfect Focus System will be introduced in the United States at the Society for Neuroscience meeting at booth #1513 in New Orleans, October 13-17 and available in December.



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