Friday 8 June 2012

Confocal scanner

Yokogawa Electric Corporation is to release the CSU-W1 confocal scanner unit on June 20 in Japan and in late August globally. This new product is an addition to the CSU series of confocal scanners, which are capable of observing live cells with high-speed and high sensitivity.

The CSU-W1 confocal scanner unit, a high-end model that follows the previously released CSU-X1, offers the superior performance and functionality that researchers require. With its significantly larger field of view, decreased crosstalk, and extended near-infrared spectral range, it can obtain sharper images of regions deeper inside live cells.

Yokogawa will be displaying this product at the 45th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists (JSDB) and the 64th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society for Cell Biology (JSCB), which are being held jointly at the Kobe Chamber of Commerce and Industry from May 28 – 31, 2012, and at the 10th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), which will be held at the Pacifico Yokohama Conference Center from June 13 to 16, 2012.

Development Background
In the life science field, high sensitivity, accuracy, and speed are required to capture three-dimensional images showing detailed structures inside live cells, including those in a short time. Yokogawa’s CSU series confocal scanner units offer the excellent sensitivity and high-speed scanning to meet these needs, and can observe samples for longer periods of time with little of the damage normally caused by laser beams. To date, more than 2,000 units have been sold worldwide.

With the expansion of life science research in recent years on subjects such as induced pluripotent stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and the human genome (for personalized medicine), researchers need far faster observation tools with higher sensitivity, multi-wavelength capability, and greater versatility. The CSU-W1 confocal scanner unit is a high performance, versatile tool that satisfies all these requirements.

Product Features
1. Wider field of view and clearer imaging
The new CSU-W1 confocal scanner unit has a larger, newly designed Nipkow disk that allows imaging of areas up to four times the size possible with previous models. This quadruples throughput and increases the likelihood that images of phenomena will be captured even when it is difficult to predict where they will occur.

The distance between the pinholes on the disk has also been widened, reducing the flare caused by the leakage of light from adjacent pinholes (crosstalk). As a result, images are clearer.

2. Various options for multi-wavelength observation and selectable pinhole size
Three models are provided: a single-camera model, a two-camera model for two-wavelength simultaneous observation, and a single-camera, split-view model for two-wavelength simultaneous observation in a single image. A disk with 50 μm pinholes (appropriated for high magnification) and a disk with 25 μm pinholes (appropriated for low magnification) are available. Users have the option of selecting one or both disk types, and in the latter case can electrically switch between the two disk types.

3. Expanded wavelength up to Near-infrared for deeper observation
Confocal scanner units use laser beams to excite fluorescence-stained samples and observe the fluorescence. As an option, lasers with a near-infrared up to 785 nm wavelength are available for the CSU-W1 confocal scanner unit. The longer wavelength laser beams penetrate further, enabling the observation of regions deeper inside live cells.

Major Target Markets
Cellular research for biology, medicine, pharmacology, agriculture, and drug discovery

- Real-time observation of protein behavior and physiological responses in live cells
- Observation of two/three-dimensional structures and changes in cells and living tissues

Yokogawa’s Approach to This Field
Yokogawa developed a revolutionary confocal scan technology combining a Nipkow disk with a microlens array and released the CSU10 confocal scanner unit (30 frames per second) in 1996. Yokogawa continued to develop ever faster confocal scanners, leading to the release of the CSU-X1 (2,000 fps) in 2007. CSU series confocal scanners are well regarded as an essential tool for observation in the life science field and over 2,000 units have been sold.

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