A Belgian company with extensive expertise in vision and optical metrology has developed a multifunctional microscope, which can be used both as a confocal scanning microscope (LCSM) with dual-wavelength fluorescence imaging and as a differential imaging contrast (DIC) microscope.
What’s more, this high-performing microscope is very compact and has a low power consumption.
Individual DIC and LCSM microscopes are mostly used to image and analyse biological samples. Now a combined system is presented: The DIC system can initially be used to easily find zones of interest. It uses an IR light source, which does not interfere with fluorescence signals. The DIC and LCSM systems can observe and analyse a sample simultaneously without compromising each other. The apparatus but also related optics and expertise are available for interested partners.
The main advantages of this microscope with respect to the most advanced confocal technology commercially available, are its very compact size and it has both a DIC and LCSM system onboard without compromising functionality.
The DIC system can be used to easily find interesting zones and it can create images with high contrast. It also uses IR light which allows for deeper sample penetration. The LCSM is used for a more detailed analysis of the biological samples using fluorescence.
DIC and LCSM system work in parallel and use the same microscope objective, so there is no need to swap samples or move parts when switching between DIC or LCSM system. Sample holder and MO are temperature controlled.
The total power consumption of this microscope is very low.
- 3D fluorescence imaging of biological samples
- Analysis of planar silicon semiconductor processing
- Study the effectiveness of pharmaceutical systems
- Food structure analysis
- Failure and fracture analysis
This microscope was developed to study the physiological changes of organisms under prolonged microgravity conditions. Innovative design choices were made which resulted in a compact and multifunctional system.
The project for this ground technology development equipment was called AMME. AMME was developed under a contract from the European Space Agency (ESA).