Imagine trying to photograph a cheetah running at full-speed without moving your camera. It sounds tedious, but it’s the kind of handicap many researchers face when imaging high-speed molecular events in super resolution, such as virus-cell interactions or neuron firings.

Current scientific cameras offer high-speed acquisition rates, but many limit you to preset regions within the frame. To address this challenge, Photometrics developed a new “LightSpeed” mode for their Evolve 512 Delta EMCCD camera. The imaging mode offers the speeds needed to capture live-cell dynamics and gives you complete control over selecting a targeted region.

A need for speed

Phtometrics-Evolve-512-Delta-EMCCDAchieving speeds of up to 2,400 frames per second (fps), the new LightSpeed mode on the Evolve 512 Delta delivers significant improvements in frame rates by digitizing only relevant pixel regions in the field of view (FOV). For example, if you limit your FOV to a 128×128 pixel region of interest, you can go from acquiring 243 fps to as much as 800 fps. When the Delta is in LightSpeed mode, every aspect of the camera is automatically optimized for maximizing frame rates, including charge transport voltages, timing, pixel transfer rates and data pipelining.

High-speed cameras have become increasingly important tools in light microscopy, as more research is focused on live-cell events. Capturing live-cell dynamics in super-resolution applications, such as neural imaging, requires a camera capable of collecting data at a minimum of twice the rate at which these events occur. However, most camera technologies are not equipped for these speeds.

This is where LightSpeed mode delivers, producing four-fold increase in frame rates within specific, user-specified regions.

Maximum speeds with increased flexibility

Photometrics’ DV2 Multichannel imaging system also takes advantage of LightSpeed for simultaneous, dual color super-resolution imaging. Using DV2 in LightSpeed mode captures two spatially identical but spectrally distinct images at the same time, eliminating the need to alternate frames between channels.

The Evolve 512 Delta was specifically designed for super-resolution applications as well as a range of other applications including neural imaging, single molecule fluorescence, ratiometric ion imaging, total internal reflection fluorescence, spinning disc confocal microscopy, and quantitative fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The camera is equipped with a 20MHz sensor and features <1e- (using EM gain) read noise and >90% quantum efficiency.

High-speed imaging education sessions at ASCB 2014

If you’re attending this year’s American Society for Cell Biology meeting (ASCB) why not drop by and say hello! Photometrics is hosting free 30-minute imaging sessions at noon and 2 p.m. daily in booth #404 where you can learn how to optimize your camera for high-speed acquisition experiments from imaging experts. Photometrics will also host sessions on the differences between EMCCD and sCMOS technologies and which is best suited for various research applications, daily at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

You can find additional information about the Evolve 512 Delta and the new LightSpeed Mode on the camera datasheet. Keep up to date with the latest news and developments from Photometrics via Twitter at @Photometrics.