Nikon launches ultra sensitive camera for molecular fluorescence imaging

7 June 2006

Melville, NY, USA. Nikon Instruments Inc., has introduced the Nikon EMCCD Monochrome Digital Camera (DQC-FS), an ultra high-quality camera specifically designed for low-level fluorescence.

The camera is aimed at high-speed and high-sensitivity applications such as single molecule fluorescence, high speed calcium imaging and live cell fluorescent protein imaging. It can also be used with the LiveScan SFC confocal system and for micro spectroscopy.

The DQC-FS amplifies low-light-level signals above the CCD read noise by employing unique electron-multiplying CCD technology.

The camera offers researchers extremely high sensitivity through its on-chip multiplication gain. It achieves, in an all solid-state sensor, the single-photon detection sensitivity typical of intensified or electron-bombarded CCDs at much lower cost and at a higher resolution than is characteristic of conventional intensified CCDs.

"Nikon's DQC-FS is another example of Nikon's continuing focus on advanced imaging through innovation," said Stan Schwartz, vice president, Nikon Instruments. "Capturing images in low light situations has become a priority in microscopy, and the demand for quality combined with multiple functions increases every day. The DQC-FS provides microscopists with the most sophisticated and light sensitive technology available for demanding digital imaging applications."

Recent imaging applications in widefield fluorescence and confocal microscopy have increasingly centred on the demanding requirements of recording rapid transient dynamic processes that may be associated with a very small photon signal and which often can only be studied in living cells or tissues.

Technological advances in producing highly specific fluorescent labels and antibodies, as well as dramatic improvements in camera, laser, and computer hardware have contributed to many breakthrough research accomplishments. Nikon's DQC-FS is capable of capturing even relatively weak signals at very high rates. Incorporating a back-illuminated, frame transferred CCD, the camera produces a frame rate of 30 full frames per second at 10MHz to deliver an outstanding ability to record specimen data at high temporal frequency and high dynamic range using a 16-bit digitizer.

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