Product News: Olympus Introduces BX3 - The New Advanced Modular Microscope System at BIOTECHNICA 2010

29 Sep 2010

The new BX3 series sets a new standard in upright clinical and research microscopy. Due to its modularity the BX3 adapts to user requirements and applications even if they change over the years - an upright microscope system built by your needs.

Ultimate imaging systems adaptable to your exact workflow – the new BX3 Research Microscope Systems

Olympus introduces the new BX3 upright research microscope system, which delivers unmatched adaptability at all levels. Following on from the highly successful BX2 range, the BX3 systems provide users with a “blank canvas” to fully define their own working environment: from the microscope and imaging components to software workflows, GUIs and the positioning of the controls on the desktop. The manual BX53 frame offers complete system flexibility with optional coded and automated modules and the BX63 frame provides advanced automation as standard. As a result, the Olympus BX3 microscopes combine perfectly with imaging modules, cameras and the cellSens software programmes to enable users to build a system intimately designed to their specific needs.

Ultimate flexibility
The BX63 has been developed with a unique, personalisible control concept, providing the user with multiple options for managing the entire microscopy and imaging process. At the forefront of this concept is the programmable touchpanel control that greatly simplifies observation and imaging tasks, and can be placed wherever the user would like. It controls all of the components of the imaging system, enabling users to change the objective, mirror unit and observation method, as well as navigate and focus the sample.

In addition to the touchscreen control, the BX63 can also be fitted with a detachable remote control providing the effect of traditional mechanical knobs for adjusting focus (Z) and stage position (X, Y). Furthermore, the unit also features buttons for changing between observation methods, objectives and mirror units, as well as for adjusting light intensity. The X, Y stage control can be fixed on either side of, or even separated from, the main control unit, providing absolute user preference for placement. As a result, the microscope matches the user’s working style and not vice versa.
The BX63 control concept doesn’t just provide control over the motorised components; it also automates many of the optical adjustments required for changing between contrast methods. This contrast management automates the condenser position, top lens, aperture stop, field stop, polariser, fluorescence shutter, mirror turret position and light intensity according to the respective objective and contrast method selected by the user. These automation steps ensure maximum efficiency and ease of use.

The Olympus BX3 research microscope systems introduce a new level of flexibility for users, putting them in command of where to place controls. For example on the BX53, the transmitted attenuation filters and fluorescence shutters can be operated from either side of the frame, which also features the centrally-positioned illumination-intensity control dial. The ergonomic fine-focus adjustment handle can be placed on the left or the right to match the position of the stage handle, which also is available in left- or right-handed configurations. If the microscope is fitted with an Olympus digital camera, the optical path switch can be attached on both sides of the ergonomic tilting tube. For the ultimate in documentation convenience, a remote exposure button is available, which can be placed freely. As a result, users maintain full control over their workspace, consequently improving workflow efficiency as everything is exactly where they want it.

As well as the standard halogen light source, the Olympus BX63 can be fitted with a novel true-colour LED system. This provides a colour-rendering index matching that of a halogen bulb with a daylight filter, due to its unique wavelength profile. This makes it ideal for high colour clarity across the entire range of brightfield stains, which is not possible with standard LED illumination systems. Apart from the unique colour-rendering features, users also benefit from excellent life spans (approximately 20,000 hours) and the low power consumption of the true-colour LED system providing exceptionally low running costs and reduced downtime.

Fluorescence champion
Olympus has introduced a new fluorescence illumination concept based around the unique fly-eye lens system, which provides unmatched homogeneity for fluorescence illumination, ensuring even illumination across the entire field of view, whatever the wavelength. This, coupled with high transmission and minimal auto-fluorescence along the entire optical pathway, ensures the BX3 microscopes are the perfect platform for fluorescence microscopy. In addition, the new 8-position filter turret not only provides the capacity for even the most comprehensive multi-colour fluorescence studies, but also offers fast, tool-free mirror cube exchange. The cubes themselves are designed to maximise the S/N ratio by capturing > 99% of stray light and using advanced multi-layer filters with steep cut-offs for highly defined wavelength selection. The signal-to-noise ratio is further improved through the use of Olympus’ low auto-fluorescence immersion oil.

With the capability to use mercury or xenon arc burners, highly stabilised EXFO X-Cite arc-burners, as well as the CoolLED fluorescent LED systems, users have an extensive choice for their fluorescence illumination.

The BX53 enables users to build a system that suits their needs. The optional coded nosepiece and mirror turret modules enable the automatic recording and sharing of microscope magnification and setting information for comparing, measuring and scaling images. An extensive range of motorisation components are also available for the BX53, including nosepiece, mirror turret, universal condenser, ND filter wheel and stage, enabling it to be precisely matched to the needs of the user and provide similar contrast management capabilities to the BX63.

The BX63 is completely motorised and is focused uniquely via the nosepiece rather than stage, which enables the stage to be fixed making it more stable. The motorised stage is also new and is driven by advanced, high-precision, ultrasonic Piezo technology, providing silent, smooth and extremely precise operation. The stage can even be positioned by hand, enabling rapid gross sample alignment, while highly accurate encoders continuously readout the X,Y position. The excellent encoding enables the user to set precise coordinates and navigate directly to them at high speed.

Control and coordination
The true power of a motorised BX3 microscope comes to the fore when using the cellSens software to control complex imaging processes such as multiple image alignment (MIA), multi-position or Z-stack acquisition. The fully customisable control concept of the Olympus BX3 microscope systems continues seamlessly with the cellSens software, with personalisible tool placement and user-definable workflows. The cellSens software family is also perfectly placed to provide all the tools required to power your ideal system, whatever that may be.

Adaptable microscopy systems set new standards in ergonomics and efficiency – the new BX3 Clinical Microscope Range
With the new BX3 range Olympus sets a new standard in upright clinical microscopes featuring the BX43 system microscope and the BX46 ergonomic screening microscope. As with the highly successful BX2 range, the BX3 clinical microscopes incorporate the advanced Olympus UIS2 optical components and are uniquely adaptable, ensuring the ultimate level of imaging flexibility and ergonomic operation. In combination with numerous motorisation and contrast options, intuitive labSens software and the Olympus digital-imaging camera range, the BX3 microscopes are digital documentation and future-lab-ready, enabling your microscope system to adapt in line with your changing and growing workflow requirements.

Advanced LED Illumination
The novel, true-colour LED illumination system has a unique wavelength profile, which provides a colour-rendering index matching that of a halogen bulb with a daylight filter. This makes it ideal for high colour clarity across the entire range of brightfield stains, a capability not offered with standard LED illumination systems. Furthermore, the true-colour LED system is controlled by the Light Intensity Manager (LIM), which automatically adjusts the intensity to user-defined levels for each objective change, thus removing the need for manual adjustment and making screening more efficient. As well as offering this true-colour capability, users also benefit from the excellent lifespan (approximately 20,000 hours) and the minimal power consumption associated with LEDs, providing exceptionally low running costs and reduced downtime.

Ergonomic genius
In addition to the well established “ergo-tube”, the BX3 microscopes are available with the world’s first tilting/telescopic/lifting observation tube that provides adjustment in three dimensions: eyepiece tilt -3° to +27º, tube extension (backwards/forwards) of 55 mm and lifting of 45 mm. The BX46 also features an ultralow (only 128 mm above the desk surface) fixed low-torque stage with ergo-grip controls. This ensures that the movements and force required by the operator are minimised as their arms can remain on the desk at all times; even placing a sample on the stage requires very little effort. As a result of these features, each user can set up the microscope to match their ideal, ergonomically correct posture, rather than adapting themselves to the microscope. This further increases screening efficiency as the microscope is more comfortable to use and therefore induces less musculoskeletal stress on the user.

Optically superior
As well as integrating the market-leading UIS2 optical components, the BX3 range has also been optically optimised to improve workflows. For example, the new wide-range condenser accommodates magnifications from 2­100x without requiring a swing-top lens. This cuts out one of the common and time-consuming steps of microscope screening, offering substantial efficiency improvements.

Automatic read-out
The BX3 range also features coded nosepiece and mirror turret modules, enabling users to automatically record and share microscope magnification and setting information for comparing, measuring and scaling images. This readout provides the correct meta-data automatically to the Olympus labSens software packages, as well as the stand-alone DP21 digital-imaging camera, ensuring no mistakes or scaling errors are made when documenting images.

Future proof
The BX3 range of clinical microscopes from Olympus is ideal for covering all the current clinical requirements and protocols. More importantly, it is also ready for the future, whatever that may bring. The modular nature of the BX43 ensures that it can facilitate multiple capabilities, including excellent fluorescence imaging, for which the incorporation of a novel and unique fly-eye lens system provides unmatched illumination homogeneity. The full range of Olympus digital-imaging cameras are available for the BX3, enabling every imaging requirement to be met. Furthermore, a series of motorisation options, combined with the labSens software packages, ensure that the user can automate only the features they’d like to. As a result, the perfect imaging system for every eventuality can be created with ease at any point in time, making your lab future-ready.

Consultancy and training
Consultancy and training are essential functions in the clinical environment and Olympus is at the forefront of providing excellent efficiency in this area, offering customisable, dual-observation and multi-discussion units for laboratory conferencing. In addition, if fitted with a digital imaging camera and the labSens software, the BX3 microscopes can essentially act as a netcam. Using standard TCP/IP protocols, the labSens “NetCam solution” enables the transfer of live and stored images throughout the network from one source to any number of destinations for teaching, mentoring or supervision.

Advanced imaging
The BX3 clinical microscopes form part of the broader range of highly versatile Olympus BX3 upright microscope systems, with the research-focused BX53 and the fully motorised BX63. In addition, the VS110 provides advanced virtual slide capabilities, scanning entire slides at high resolution in X, Y and Z and enabling them to be navigated on screen as if actually reviewing the original slide.

Visit booth F26, hall 9 for more information.