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Invitrogen, PerkinElmer, MaxCyte, Nikon Instruments, Thorlabs

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Invitrogen this week announced the launch of the Premo halide sensor, a pharmacologically relevant sensor for functional studies of ligand- and voltage-gated chloride channels.
 
The sensor is based on a halide-sensitive form of Venus, the brightest available yellow fluorescent protein, according to the company. Users introduce the Premo halide sensor into cells of interest 24 hours ahead of the assay via BacMam technology, add iodide-containing buffer to the culture, and then add test compounds.
 
Using a mix and read format, a quantitative measurement of channel activity is obtained, allowing identification of compounds modulating chloride channel activity.
 

 
PerkinElmer this week announced the launch of the Volocity 5 high-performance imaging software suite, developed by Improvision, a PerkinElmer company. 
 
Volocity 5 software acquires three-dimension and four-dimension images, and allows data visualization, deconvolution, publication, object measurement, tracking, and charting, the company said.
 
Researchers can use Volocity to either directly acquire cell images or import the data from fluorescence microscopy systems. Acquired images are then analyzed in 3D and 4D, delivering both qualitative and quantitative information. Volocity 5 also features a streamlined user interface.
 
The Volocity suite comprises four core software products, all of which are available for Windows and Mac operating systems: Volocity Acquisition, designed for high-speed image capture, ranging from 2D image capture to multi-channel 4D experiments; Volocity Visualization, for interactive, high-resolution 4D rendering of multi-channel 3D and 4D data sets; Volocity Quantitation, for measuring, tracking, and analyzing structure and function in 3D and 4D image data; and Volocity Restoration, for converting standard wide field fluorescence microscope images into confocal-quality data.
 
The new features of Volocity 5 include: a new library view, for improved workflow and ease of navigation, to increase productivity; an updated renderer, for changes to data handling and memory management when working with large datasets; image and slice views, now with bookmarks and movie making, to turn image data into movies to share and publish; user-specified XY dimensions for movies and snapshots, to prepare data for publication; and a new Windows Vista and Mac OS X user interface to keep the system up to date with the latest operating system.
 

 
MaxCyte this week announced the European launch of the MaxCyte STX scalable transfection system.
 
The MaxCyte STX System enables the small- and large-scale transfection of primary cells, cell lines, and stem cells with single and multiple loading agents at the same time. About 10 billion cells can be transfected in less than 30 minutes. The MaxCyte STX can be a useful tool for biopharmaceutical companies to develop more relevant screening systems, which can increase the likelihood of finding successful drug candidates, the company said.
 
MaxCyte launched the STX scalable transfection system in the US last month (see CBA News, 10/24/08).
 

 
Nikon Instruments this week introduced the AZ100 C1si, a macro confocal microscope system combining the features of stereo and compound microscopes into a single hybrid imaging system for the dynamic imaging of single cells or whole specimens.
 
The C1si confocal system's modular design and small footprint allow it to be combined with the AZ100 macroscope for researchers interested in low- magnification, high-resolution confocal imaging. The AZ100 C1si features simultaneous 32-channel spectral image acquisition over a spectral range of 320 nm in a single scan. Simultaneous 32-channel acquisition at 10 nm, 5 nm, or 2.5 nm bandwidths, all software-controlled, is possible.
 
Studies of whole model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila, or zebrafish can now be documented using confocal 4D time lapse imaging modalities. Wide fields of view can be 3D sectioned, and using the same instrumentation, interactions of single cells can be studied, the company said.
 
The AZ100 has a wide magnification range from 5 to 500X, and a zooming magnification system with a ratio of 8:1. With its telecentric zoom optical system, the system also supports observation methods ranging from low magnification macro whole organism observation to imaging at the micro level of single cells with high optical efficiency. A separate optical path for EPI-FL eliminates auto fluorescence from the zoom portion and makes observation of ultraviolet excitation fluorescence imaging possible.
 

 
Nikon Instruments and Thorlabs this week announced a collaboration to bring optical coherence tomography to Nikon's FN1 PhysioStation upright focusing nosepiece microscope system for neurophysiology and in vivo, small-animal studies.
 
The new OCT system enables an imaging depth of 2-3 mm in biological tissue, with a larger field of view than in conventional microscopy, Nikon said.
 
The system was customized by Thorlabs specifically for Nikon's FN1 microscope system. It offers 3D imaging capabilities based on a relatively low magnification objective, making the system appropriate for live-animal imaging, the company said.
 
Using a non-destructive wavelength-swept infra-red laser, the OCT system acquires data from deep within the specimen, giving researchers a real-time 2D slice view (up to 3 mm deep by 10 mm long) of the specimen. Counterstaining or labeling of the specimen is not necessary.
 
High-resolution 3D volume reconstructions can be made of specimens by rastering the low-powered laser field.
 
All of the traditional optical microscope imaging techniques, such as differential interference contrast microscopy, oblique illumination, infrared DIC, and multiple wavelength epifluorescence, are maintained on this system, even when combined with the OCT modality. A lever change can engage the OCT imaging or the system can be used in the normal modes.
 

The OCT imaging mode can provide a 3D overview of the large field of view so that the location of specific morphology structures can be targeted.

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