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Nikon to Make N-SIM Microscopes

Nikon Corporation announced that it will sign an agreement with the Univ. of California, San Francisco Office of Technology Management for Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM) technology. Under the terms of the agreement, UCSF will license its technology to Nikon to make N-SIM enabled microscopes.

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Nikon Corporation announced that it will sign an agreement with the Univ. of California, San Francisco Office of Technology Management for Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM) technology. Under the terms of the agreement, UCSF will license its technology to Nikon to make N-SIM enabled microscopes.

Nikon Corporation Pres. Michio Kariya and Nikon Instruments will announce the introduction of the Super Resolution Microscope N-SIM at the American Society For Cell Biology - 49th Annual Meeting (December 5-9, San Diego). The new microscope system incorporates the technology licensed from UCSF and is designed to realize resolution higher than can be achieved by conventional optical microscopes.

Nikon’s N-SIM microscopy system can produce two times the resolution of conventional optical microscopes by combining SIM technology licensed from UCSF and based on the Eclipse Ti research inverted microscope with Nikon’s CFI Apo TIRF 100x oil objective lens (N.A. 1.49), developed using unique optical technologies and manufacturing techniques. The SIM technology was developed by Mats Gustafsson, John Sedat, and David Agard, of UCSF.

Mats Gustafsson spearheaded the initial work and introduced SIM in 2000 while at UCSF. SIM takes advantage of moiré patterns, which are produced by overlaying one pattern with another. The sample under the lens is observed while it is illuminated by a special grid pattern of light. Several different light patterns are applied, and the resulting moiré patterns are captured each time by a digital camera. Computer software algorithms then extract the information in the moiré images and translate it into two- and three-dimensional, high-resolution reconstructions. Time resolution of 0.6 sec/frame, the fastest in the industry:

The newly developed TIRF-SIM illumination technique enables Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) observation with higher resolution than conventional TIRF microscopes and gives more detailed structural information near the cell membrane. In addition, another new 3D-SIM illumination technique has the capability of optical sectioning of specimens, enabling the visualization of more detailed cell spatial structures.

“Nikon is highly anticipating this exciting new development into the realm of super resolution and providing scientists with exceptional optical instrumentation that enables biologists and neuroscience researchers to visualize cellular structures and molecular activity at nearly twice the image resolution than realized before by conventional light microscopy in a commercialized microscopy system,” states Stan Schwartz, vice president, Nikon Instruments, Inc. “We are excited with this opportunity to collaborate with UCSF and progressing together with Nikon’s design engineers to extend the capabilities and uses of N-SIM microscopy.”

Nikon’s official name for the commercialized product is Super Resolution Microscope N-SIM and will be available in May 2010.

Source: Nikon Corp.