LSM 880 Confocal Microscope with Airyscan from Carl Zeiss

To get ahead in your research you may want to image the smallest structures, catch the faintest signal or track the fastest processes – or do all of that at once.
When it comes to getting accurate data from live cells or other weakly-labeled samples, there is no such thing as too much sensitivity, resolution or speed. Each photon of emission light is precious.

With Airyscan you have the unrivaled combination of fast superresolution and sensitive confocal image acquisition at hand. Use multicolor samples with any label and get image quality like you’ve never seen before.

Decide for this novel detector design and get a 4-8× improvement in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) as compared to imaging with conventional confocal GaAsP detectors. And 1.7× higher resolution for your single photon or multiphoton experiments.


With Airyscan You Enter a New World of Confocal Performance

  • Use a true confocal that gives you high sensitivity, improved resolution in x, y and z, and high speed in one system.
  • Increase the resolution of your imaging: with Airyscan you resolve 140 nm laterally and 400 nm axially, at 488 nm.
  • Airyscan in Fast mode gives you the high acquisition speed, sensitivity and superresolution you need to answer your scientific questions.

Perform Quantitative Imaging

  • Perform gentle imaging of your samples, thanks to the homogeneous illumination with linear scanning, combined with a sensitive detection infrastructure.
  • Working with identical pixel times and continuous scanner monitoring, you perform quantitative imaging at all speeds and scan modes.
  • Get robust and reliable results, even from your most demanding single molecule imaging and analysis.

Increase Your Productivity

  • Save time on investigations into localization and interaction of proteins that require multiple fluorescent labels: You collect all these signals in one go.
  • Perform simultaneous spectral detection in a single scan with the highest number of descanned or non descanned channels – including GaAsP technology.
  • Take full advantage of large fields of view and the highest speed of any linear scanning confocal – up to 13 fps.


The Airyscan Principle

Airyscan is a detector that draws on the fact that a fluorescence microscope will image a point-like source as an extended Airy disk (Airy pattern). In a standard confocal microscope the out-of-focus emission light is rejected at a pinhole, the size of which determines how much of the Airy pattern reaches the detector.

When you increasingly close the pinhole in a standard confocal microscope to reject out-of-focus light, you get a sharper image, but it’s also dimmer since a great deal of light is then lost. The smaller the pinhole, the higher the resolution, but – equally – the bigger the loss in light.

Airyscan solves this conundrum between resolution and light efficiency by imaging the Airy disk onto a concentrically arranged hexagonal detector array. Its detection area consists of 32 single detector elements, all of which act like very small pinholes. The confocal pinhole itself remains open and doesn’t block light – thus all photons of the whole Airy disk are collected.

The signals from all detector elements are then reassigned to their correct position, producing an image with increased signal-to-noise ratio and resolution.

An area detector consisting of multiple detector elements allows for great flexibility in imaging modes. In Fast mode, the excitation beam is elongated in y and the Airyscan detector acquires 4 lines of image information instead of only one with one horizontal scanner movement. This parallelization delivers a unique combination of high speed, high resolution and high sensitivity.

Airyscan capitalizes on the scanning and optical sectioning capabilities of a confocal and therefore works with your standard samples, standard dyes and even with thicker samples such as tissue sections or whole animal mounts that need a higher penetration depth.

It's up to you whether you use the advantages of Airyscan and the Fast module to get better signal-to-noise, superresolution or speed – with single or multiphoton excitation.

Fast and Linear Scanning

Your Powerful Combination

To fully resolve the movement of labeled proteins in dynamic cellular and subcellular processes you often need to image at around 10 frames per second. Now, with LSM 880, you can achieve up to 13 frames per second at 512 × 512 pixels.

Add Airyscan with the Fast module to image with up to 27 frames per second at 480 × 480 pixels.LSM 880 is constantly monitoring and calibrating the scanner position to guarantee a stable field of view and equal pixel integration times over the whole field of view. Linear scanning is an essential prerequisite for your quantitative and correlative imaging.

It gives you a constant signal-to-noise level and uniform exposure to the illuminating laser throughout the scanned area, including manipulated regions of interest. Unlike traditional sine scanning confocals, LSM 880 uses more than 80% of the scanning time for data acquisition. That means you will enjoy a 29% improvement of signal-to-noise ratio because of longer pixel integration times at a defined frame rate.


Parallel Acquisition of Multiple Channels

It takes multiple labels to analyze interactions between different cellular or subcellular structures, but you can achieve the highest timing precision and speed up your imaging time by recording their intensities simultaneously. LSM 880 lets you acquire the entire spectrum – and all your labels – in just one scan with 32 channels , 512 x 512 pixels at 5 frames per second.

Set up 10 channels for multichannel spectral imaging and then add the transmission detector. You can now image all fluorescent dyes and the additional oblique contrast in a single scan. This protects your sample and also saves you time.

Especially for your demanding multiphoton experiments, you will profit from having this fundamental capability: up to 12 non descanned detectors can be read out in parallel.