Digital Light Sheet Module for the Leica TCS SP8 Confocal Platform
Product News May 13, 2015
Leica Microsystems has launched the Leica TCS SP8 DLS, a digital light sheet microscope, which is fully integrated into the Leica TCS SP8 confocal microscope for the observation of developmental processes in real time and 3D.
The synergy of light sheet and confocal microscopy opens novel fields of application. The instrument, which was previewed at the FOM 2015 in Göttingen, Germany, will now be officially presented at the 15th annual meeting of the European Light Microscopy Initiative (ELMI), May 19 to 22, 2015 in Sitges, Spain.
Light sheet microscopy is a gentle method of imaging light-sensitive samples or fast biological processes in whole organisms, since the specimen is illuminated in a single plane. This reduces phototoxic effects and thereby protects the sample.
The novelty of Leica Microsystems' approach lies in the integration of a light sheet module into an inverted Leica TCS SP8 confocal system. The TwinFlect mirror, which deflects the illuminating light sheet at a 90° angle, makes it possible to combine digital light sheet and confocal imaging in one system without compromising confocal functionality.
This is a clear distinction from other solutions that require a dedicated optical setup on an independent system with perpendicular illuminating and detecting objectives. "With this highly integrated system, researchers can stay close to familiar sample preparation protocols and even combine confocal photomanipulation methods with gentle light sheet detection, which open new fields of applications," says Dr. Petra Haas, Product Manager at Leica Microsystems.
First feedback on the Leica TCS SP8 DLS from the research community is positive: "I think it's a fantastic idea. It's very clever, it's a nice example of thinking out of the box. Classically, you have a perpendicular setup and now you can just retrofit it on a confocal. I think it's brilliant," says Dr. Bram van den Broek from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.
The light sheet module is an optional add-on to the Leica TCS SP8 modular imaging platform and expands its imaging options. Every inverted Leica TCS SP8 can be upgraded to a light sheet microscope. Additional functionality such as STED super-resolution, advanced lasers, and multiphoton or quantitative imaging can be added whenever required.
Visitors of the ELMI meeting can also have demonstrations on a pulsed STED laser at 775 nm for the Leica TCS SP8 STED 3X, which achieves sub 30 nm resolution, as well as the universal hybrid detector Leica HyD SMD for quantitative FCS, FLIM, FLCS, and super-sensitive imaging.