Courtesy of Leica Microsystems

Confocal and multiphoton microscopes are standard fare in academic imaging facilities, but ultrahigh-resolution systems generally have a smaller user base – namely, their inventors. Soon facilities around the world can have a piece of the pie – 4Pi, that is.

Leica Microsystems http://www.leica-microsystems.com recently introduced a new microscope featuring the 4Pi technology developed by Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany. The Leica TCS 4Pi microscope, which can be used for live-cell imaging, offers nanoscale resolution rivaling that of electron microscopy.

Unlike a conventional microscope that views a sample from above or below using one objective, the 4Pi microscope uses two opposing objectives to view the sample from both sides. The combined light creates a sharp spot that increases resolution in the Z direction.

The TCS 4Pi microscope offers a four- to seven-fold improvement in axial resolution over standard confocal and...

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