BORDEAUX, France — French manufacturer Argolight will launch a new generation of calibration slides, based on an improved technology designed to assess the performance of fluorescence microscopes.
The slides feature fluorescent patterns of known intensity, embedded in glassy material—now in its 3rd generation with improved quantum efficiency. These patterns exhibit 100 percent more intense fluorescence than the 2nd generation, making them more visible across all wavelengths.
The presence of fluorescence inside the slide is certain and long-lasting. Fluorescence patterns will be visible forever. For that matter, the slides are warranted for a lifetime.
Microscope quality control: at a tipping point
The topic of quality control (QC) for microscopes has increased steadily over the past few years. The growth of data-based biology and “omics” sciences requires raw image data to be reliable and reproducible. A worldwide initiative on the subject was recently formed and published its concerns in Nature Methods.
“The time is right to take action. Researchers are increasingly using light microscopy to publish quantitative data rather than for qualitative observations. Therefore, it is vital that the performance and limitations of the microscope systems used are routinely measured and fully understood. Only with this knowledge can the data captured be reliable, robust, accurate, and reproducible.” Boehm, U., Nelson, G., Brown, C.M. et al. QUAREP-LiMi: a community endeavor to advance quality assessment and reproducibility in light microscopy. Nat Methods (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-021-01162-y
More fluorescence intensity: a gain for Bioimaging and Cell science users
Argolight instruments are used by microscopy scientists to troubleshoot microscopes in core imaging facilities and track the performances of microscopes during scientific experiments. Microscopy manufacturers also use them for their stability and versatility, for example to demonstrate the performances of new imaging technologies.
Since its foundation, Argolight has given an attentive ear to the voices of customers, to understand their use and their needs. More intensity of fluorescence has often been a request from users whose systems have a weak light source, or overall, who need a very good Signal-to-Noise (SNR) and /or Signal-to-Background (SBR) ratio. After years of research, Argolight has been able to develop fluorescent patterns that emit more fluorescence over all channels, including in the red wavelengths.
Automating image analysis with a companion software
When microscopy scientists monitor quality control of their systems, they must multiply the imaging and analysis time by the number of systems, objectives, and channels of interest. This is time-consuming, sometimes even refraining from a comprehensive monitoring approach. To reduce time and friction when doing quality monitoring, Argolight fluorescent patterns are designed to be analyzed by an image quality processing software called Daybook. Now in its 3rd version, a few clicks in the software produced the key metrics of the system, such as lateral resolution, intensity variation along a line profile, dynamic range, and centering accuracy.
Argolight is prepared to introduce these improvements in the labs, to empower scientists with easy troubleshooting tools, to efficiently assess a fluorescent system and generally advance reliability.