Product News: Analytica 2008: Leica Microsystems Presents the World’s First Super-Zoom Confocal Microscope

03 Apr 2008

Leica Microsystems is presenting ground-breaking technologies in confocal and stereomicroscopy for ultra-high resolutions from macro to nano at the world’s largest trade show for solutions in the laboratory technology and life-science sectors.

One of the highlights is the world’s first super-zoom 3D confocal system Leica TCS LSI. Its automated zoom allows seamless magnification change from overview to detail with free 3D navigation through the sample – from embryo to cell, from cell to genome. For the first time it is now possible, for example, to identify influences of genetic defects on the living model organism, or to study in vivo the development from a cell to the entire organism in every detail. Combining high confocal resolution with a large field of view of up to 16 mm, the Leica TCS LSI enables unique in vivo imaging of large samples.

Thanks to the new zoom concept, every part of the sample can be selected without having to change the objective. The continuous and parallax-free adjustment of the magnification is achieved with the apochromatic Leica Z16 APO A 16:1 Super-Zoom optics that offer a dynamic magnification of 0.57x to 9.2x. The Leica Z6 APO A 6:1 cover a range of 0.57x to 3.6x. 4D experiments run fully automatically with the Advanced Time Lapse software, enabling easy protein interaction analysis or drug influence testing, etc. without touching the imaging system during the experiment.

The first confocal system that adapts to the sample
Only a few weeks ago, Leica Microsystems launched its new Leica TCS SP5 X supercontinuum confocal system, providing freedom and flexibility which were previously unattainable in fluorescence microscopy, and visibly improving results.

The innovative supercontinuum laser now allows the researcher to choose any excitation line within the continuous range of 470 to 670 nm. The Leica TCS SP5 X precisely adapts to any existing or future fluorescent dye. Optimal adjustment of the excitation line to the sample – in 1 nm increments – reduces cross-excitation and minimizes sample damage. The Leica TCS SP5 X also allows multi-color excitation with up to eight excitation lines simultaneously.

The new dimension of stereomicroscopy

The Leica M205 C with its revolutionary FusionOptics™ offers a new dimension in stereomicroscopy. Leica FusionOptics™ (patent pending) makes advantageous use of a neurological phenomenon: The left beam path produces great depth of field, while the right beam path provides a high-resolution image. The human brain itself then combines the best information from both channels, using it to compose an image whose resolution and depth of field have never been achieved in any stereomicroscope before. The Leica M205 C is the world's first stereomicroscope with a fully apochromatically corrected 20.5:1 zoom. In the zoom range from 0.78x to 16x, the resolution increases continuously up to 1050 lp/mm (planapochromat objective 2x). Due to the natural laws of optics, this performance class has never been seen before in stereomicroscopes.

Smallest fiber-optic confocal microscope for endoscopic in vivo microscopy
The endoscopic confocal microscope Leica FCM1000 enables non-invasive real-time examinations to be conducted on living animals. High-speed recordings can be made of cellular or vascular processes simply by bringing the flexible and minimally invasive micro probe in contact with the tissue of interest. This new method allows repeat measurements as well as follow-up analysis of living processes on the same animal. The innovative fiber-optic confocal fluorescence microscope Leica FCM1000 was developed by Leica Microsystems’ partnering company Mauna Kea Technologies in Paris and is fully adapted to in vivo and in situ small animal imaging.

High-precision laser microdissection system for large and small samples

New prospects are offered for research in proteomics and genomics, toxicology and neurobiology by the Leica LMD6000 Laser Microdissection System. Featuring automated cell recognition and an integrated scanning table with a holding fixture for up to three specimens, the new laser microdissection system provides excellent sample throughput. Thanks to improved optics and exact laser control, the Leica LMD6000 enables high-precision, high-velocity selection not only of very small objects, such as individual cells, but also of large areas of a cell in one piece. Diode lasers with excellent beam profile and high-power density enable simple and precise processing of all specimen types. Due to the latest developments in laser technology, even thick and hard specimens can be easily cut with the powerful diode laser. Owing to optical laser control, results are not affected in any way by stage movements during the cutting process.

High quality frozen sections – easier, safer and faster

Now it is easier, safer and faster to produce the high-quality frozen sections that pathologists rely on – thanks to the new Leica CM1950 cryostat platform. The Leica CM1950 platform comprises a standard  instrument plus a range of options that allow each laboratory to configure a cryostat that matches their individual needs. To ensure the Leica CM1950 meets the demanding expectations of cryostat users, Leica Microsystems have introduced two significant features: the CryoZone™ cooling system and the optional vacuum waste removal system. The CryoZone system controls a zone of uniformly cool air in the critical areas of the cryochamber. The optional vacuum system aids workflow and safety, saving time by keeping sections flat and wrinkle-free and enhancing operator safety by removing waste material. When working with Leica CM1950 cryostats, operators can be assured that their safety is being well looked after. There is a growing concern about biohazard exposure and non-ergonomic practice. The Leica CM1950 platform alleviates these concerns with brilliant ergonomics, optional vacuum-assisted waste removal and the unmatched biohazard protection offered by Leica Microsystems’ UVC disinfection and AgProtect™ antibacterial nanosilver surface coating.

Efficient high-pressure freezer for EM samples
The Leica EM PACT2 high-pressure freezer sets new standards in cryofixation for subsequent sectioning and observation in an electron microscope, allowing high quality freezing up to 200μm into the specimen. With its own compressor located on the same trolley, it is fully mobile. Any fluid can be used in the hydraulic system and new specimen pods are maintenance-free. Liquid nitrogen (LN2) consumption is very low, requiring around 25 liters per day. Specimen carriers are available for the plethora of various-shaped samples and for a variety of follow-on procedures including freeze substitution, frozen hydrated cryosectioning, cryoplaning and freeze fracture.