A1 / A1R Confocal Laser Microscope System

by Nikon

The A1 is Nikon's powerful fully-automated confocal imaging system, capable of capturing high-quality confocal images of cells and molecular events at high speed and enhanced sensitivity. Ideal for facilities with a broad range of users, the A1 has been designed with groundbreaking new optical and electronic technology innovations to provide unprecedented system quality and flexibility.

Two High-Performing Models Available

Nikon's A1 confocal laser microscope systems offer new innovations that take confocal imaging to new levels of quality and system versatility. Two models are available - the fully automated A1 and the high specification A1R. The A1 utilizes conventional paired galvonometers to produce high resolution images up to 4096 x 4096 pixels, while the A1R incorporates a unique hybrid scanner system offering frame rates of 30 fps, 512 x 512 pixels. This facilitates ultra high-speed imaging with unsurpassed image quality. Furthermore, the hybrid scanner enables simultaneous photo-activation and imaging, which is critical for unveiling cell dynamics and interactions.

Revolutionary Hybrid Confocal Scan Head

At the heart of the A1 system is Nikon's totally unique hybrid confocal scan head. Nikon engineers have enhanced the optical efficiency and minimized light loss to never before attained levels. This has produced a system with exceptional sensitivity which in turn permits the use of extraordinarily low laser powers and gain levels. The benefit is that live specimens remain alive longer and fluorophores bleach significantly less. At the same time, objectionable system noise is avoided.

Ultra High-Speed Imaging at 420 fps

The A1R incorporates a resonant scanner with a resonance frequency of 7.8kHz that allows high-speed imaging at 420 fps (512 x 32 pixels). Moreover, the field of view of the resonant scanned area exactly overlaps that of the galvo scanner. The Nikon original optical clock generation method realizes high image quality even at the highest speed. The fiber-optic communication data transfer system can transfer data at a maximum of four Gbit/s.

High-speed Photo Activation Imaging

Because a non-resonant scanner and a resonant scanner are incorporated in one unit, photo activation and fluorescence imaging can be conducted simultaneously without a separate laser unit for photo activation. With a resonant scanner that can capture images at high speed, acquisition of rapid changes after photo activation is possible.

Fast Acquisition of 32-Channel Spectral Images

Fast spectral imaging at 16 fps (512 x 64 pixels) is possible.

Real-Time Spectral Unmixing

Fast fluorescence unmixing during image acquisition is possible with a 512 x 512 pixel, 32-channel image unmixed in less than one second.

Increased Light Detection Efficiency Provides High Image Quality

The low incidence angle dichroic mirrors used in the scan head have an average transmittance of 98% and contribute to a 30% increase in fluorescence detection efficiency. This makes for brighter images, minimizing laser exposure intensity, and reducing damage to cells.

VAAS Pinhole Unit for Bright, Clear Images

Nikon has developed another confocal innovation called the Virtual Adaptable Aperture System (VAAS) that minimizes the out of focus information present in an image while retaining image brightness. Because of the deconvolution the in focus image formed from photons signal that pass through the pinhole with the near focus image formed from photons reflected from an annular mirror surrounding the pinhole, acquisition of brighter images with less contrast loss due to out-of-focus fluorescence is possible. Resolution may also be enhanced, especially along the Z axis. Optical sections of different thickness can be created using VAAS post processing software. Additionally, lost intensity in time series acquisitions can be restored

NIS-Elements C - Dedicated Software with Increased Flexibility and Ease of Use

For diverse confocal microscope applications, Nikon provides easy-to-use software based on Nikon's leading imaging software, NIS-Elements.

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