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Optical Imaging: What's Next?
? Stephen Ross, Ph.D. is Senior Scientist and Manager, Product & Technology at Nikon Instruments. Melville , NY . (www.nikonusa.com)
? Robert A. Wick, Ph.D. is V.P .Microscopy at Leica Microsystems Inc., Bannockburn , IL . (www.leica-microsystems.com)
Where image analysis meets optical imaging, across the whole field of microscopy really, there's never a lack of new turns, new challenges ? and just plain imaging news. Advanced Imaging 's annual roundtable looks at the latest optical imaging and will not disappoint in that regard. And we have several genuine industry heavyweights on hand to report on the situation circa summer, 2004.
Advanced Imaging: To set the scene: Optical imaging is now being used for examining increasingly small structures down to single molecules. What is your company's imaging approach to providing an integrated solution for providing new perspectives on cellular, molecular and developmental biology and biochemistry?
Stephen Ross, Nikon: Nikon takes a multifaceted approach to imaging which begins with the education of our people, in addition to our customers through interactive tools such as Microscopy U (http://www.microscopyu.com) so that important concepts, such as understanding the importance of matching optical and digital resolution are unambiguous. This support also assists researchers when choosing from a wide variety of tools available to address imaging from whole cells down to single molecules. To cite a real life example, when imaging extremely small structures such as molecules we can use a technique like total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF), which allows imaging of sub-resolution structures located at the cell's membrane. However, if the question addressed requires imaging deep inside a specimen, we would use techniques like confocal microscopy. For Nikon, the common thread in all these techniques is the highest performance optics available. For example, one lens in particular, the Plan APO 1.45 NA TIRF lens, allows TIRF thorough the lens and additionally provides the highest resolution imaging for any optical technique. When imaging deep in a specimen, overcoming spherical aberration is the biggest challenge. And this particular lens is the only high NA oil immersion lens that has ever been produced, incorporating a correction collar that makes it possible to correct for spherical aberration deep inside cells.