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Nikon Instruments Introduces Exclusive VAAS Detector Imaging Method for Confocal Microscopy
Date:12/15/2008

Unique Technology Greatly Improves Signal to Noise

MELVILLE, N.Y., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ --Nikon Instruments, Inc. (www.nikoninstruments.com) today launched VAAS Detection, a new, exclusive confocal imaging method for post acquisition recovery of data normally lost during the course of the experiment. This is accomplished by collecting emission photons that normally are rejected by the emission side pinhole, traditionally used at the 1 airy disk size. This unique technology allows for virtual adjusting of the confocality and sensitivity of data post-acquisition, as well as collecting more photons during the initial image acquisition to enable image reconstruction with greatly improved signal-to-noise.

VAAS, which stands for Virtual Adjustable Aperture System, uses two pinholes to collect emitted photons: a standard-sized one to enable confocality and one with a diameter three-times larger to capture more of the emitted fluorescence without increasing the out of focus background detection. VAAS is an effective method to reduce the out of focus haze signal without reducing the signal from the focal plane.

In using a traditional confocal microscope, images are acquired after adjusting and fixing the diameter of the emission pinhole aperture according to the specimen and instrument conditions. Any emission falling outside of the pinhole is lost. Nikon's VAAS Detection addresses this limitation by collecting photons originating from the selected plane of focus as well as from adjacent planes in a single scan, and independently collecting the signals into independent channels. After the experiment, data can be added back, or the original data can be further deconvolved using this extra collected information.

"The VAAS Detection system leaves no photon behind, satisfying the constant need for clearer images, that are of higher signal-to-noise levels, while enabling the collection of more data than traditional laser point scanning confocal systems." said Stan Schwartz, vice president of Nikon Instruments. "When used with the Ti series of inverted microscopes, the A1 with VAAS Detection offers a complete confocal system that is an ideal platform for a variety of high-level techniques in principal investigator labs and core imaging facilities alike."

The A1 confocal system now offers significant improvements in confocal imaging. In addition to the VAAS detection system, features include a hybrid dual scanner system offering high speed scanning with photoactivation capability and longer cell imaging times. Additionally, the system enables faster and higher sensitivity spectral imaging with better resolution.

VAAS Detection is offered as an upgrade option to Nikon's A1 series of confocal laser point scanning systems, which seamlessly integrate with the new Ti-E research inverted microscope. The fully-automated confocal imaging system literally brings biological imaging to life, capturing high-quality confocal images of cells and molecular events at high speed and enhanced sensitivity. Ideal for facilities with a broad range of users, the A1 has been designed with ground breaking new optical and electronic technology innovations to provide unprecedented system flexibility.

About Nikon Instruments Inc.

Nikon Instruments, Inc. is a world leader in the development and manufacture of optical and digital imaging technology for biomedical and industrial applications. Now in its 91st year, Nikon provides complete optical systems that offer optimal versatility, performance and productivity. Cutting-edge instruments include microscopes, precision measuring equipment, digital imaging products and software. Nikon Instruments is the microscopy and instrumentation arm of Nikon Inc., the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology. For more information, visit www.nikoninstruments.com. Product-related inquiries may be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.


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SOURCE Nikon Instruments, Inc.
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