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Enjoy the full potential of confocal microscopy with ZEISS LSM 880 with Airyscan

Content sponsored by Zeiss Microscopy

If you want a 3D fluorescent image you need a confocal microscope. The only question remains, which confocal microscope should you use? ZEISS LSM 880 with Airyscan unlocks the full potential of confocal microscopy. It is an exceptionally flexible system that uses an array detector increasing your sensitivity, resolution and speed.

ZEISS LSM 880 with Airyscan is a great choice if:

…your event is fast

LSM 880 is the fastest linear scanning confocal available. LSM 880 offers 512 x 512 pixels at 13 frames per second. Making it fast enough to resolve your favorite protein’s movement.

…your signal is weak

A classic confocal microscope works by illuminating a single spot on your specimen and detecting the resulting fluorescence. To control resolution in classic confocal microscopy a pinhole is used, which works by rejecting out-of-focus fluorescence. To increase resolution you adjust (shrink) this pinhole. However doing so will cost you in terms of your signal-to-noise, since less light will be allowed to pass through.

Airyscanning works differently than your classic confocal. Instead of wasting valuable light at the pinhole, Airyscan has a 32-channel area detector that collects all light. Each detector element then acts as a single pinhole, thus not missing photons. Additionally, unlike classic sine scanning confocal microscopes LSM 880 uses 80% of its scan time for data acquisition, meaning longer pixel integration times at any given frame rate and a better signal-to-noise ratio for you.

…you need to quantitate

ZEISS LSM 880 has linear scanning, which provides homogeneous illumination. This gives you a constant signal-to-noise that is crucial for quantitative and correlative imaging.

…you have multiple labels

Sometimes you need to look at more than one thing. And this means sometimes you will have multiple labels. With the Quasar detector of LSM 880 you can detect the entire spectrum (all your labels) in a single 32 channel scan at 5 fps at a 512 x 512 pixel resolution. The GaAsP detector saves you time and protects your samples from bleaching.

…your signal bleaches

The fact that you can detect all of your labels simultaneous is great if your labels are prone to bleaching. LSM 880 scanning efficiency speeds up your image acquisition time and protects your delicate probes.

…you are concerned about phototoxicity

In long-term imaging cell health becomes a problem. Continuous exposure to excitation light can generate free radicals and cause cell damage. To minimize this damage, one must minimize exposure intensity and time. However, less exposure means fewer emitted photons and a weaker signal. Therefore the eternal battle between signal strength and phototoxicity continues. LSM 880 overcomes this through its high scanning efficiency.

…your sample is small/detailed

Conventional confocal microscopes are limited to ~250nm or more in X and Y, and 700nm in Z. However, Airyscan can resolve to 140nm x 400nm. This is because each detector element of Airyscan acts as an individual pinhole, and each can be individually deconvolved, weighted and photons assigned. Overall this results in a 1.7-fold increase in resolution.


Confocal (CLSM) and Airyscan recording of a FluoCell #1 (InVitroGen) imaged for MitoTracker to visualize mitochondria. Shown in the upper right corner is a magnified view of the area indicated by the smaller squared box. The lower right corner shows an xz section along the indicated arrow in the inset. Image conditions were identical with a pixel size of 58 nm and a sectioning of 125 nm. Scales are indicated.


…you like options (this is where Airyscan shines!)

Airyscan has a Virtual Pinhole Mode, which allows you to decide on your optimization needs (signal-to-noise, resolution or speed) and what pinhole size suits you best after acquisition. This means you can capture your image fast first (minimizing bleaching and such) and then take your time optimizing.

Whatever your current or future needs may be, the flexibility of ZEISS LSM 880 with Airyscan gives you more signal-to-noise, resolution or speed, making it a great confocal.

Want to know more? Check out this past webinar about ZEISS LSM 880 with Airyscan.


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