Technologies

Our development team has more than fifteen years of experience in designing and building advanced imaging hardware and software. We work hand in hand with our customers in precisely identifying the specific requirements of their research applications and develop customized imaging solutions that best suit their needs. Having worked ourselves with commercially available microscopy systems, we fully understand what the term “user-friendly” means and we design image acquisition software that can be rightfully described as such. We provide expert consultation in building modular systems. This means that customers actively participate in selecting the key components of their own systems within a wide variety of qualities and prices. This also implies that our systems are dynamic, they can be rapidly and easily adapted as new technologies, better hardware or more advance software are being developed or to better accommodate to the changing demands of your research projects.

What technologies can we help you implement in your laboratories?


Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM)

SPIM, Ultramicroscopy, or in general Laser Sheet Microscopy techniques enable fast high-resolution imaging of large, optically-cleared, three-dimensional specimens. In SPIM, whole organs, thick tissue samples or organotypic or 3D cellular cultures are illuminated using a thin sheet of light that scans the specimens along one axis while emitted light is collected along a perpendicular optical axis, ensuring that the detection objective focal plane coincides with the sheet of light. In the past decade different modalities of SPIM have been developed that vary depending on the configuration of sources and cameras, and on how the sheet is generated to reduce scattering and increase speed. We develop Laser Sheet Microscopy set-ups in all configurations (single-armed, double-sided illumination, fast-acquisition for in-vivo, multiview, etc.)

Advantages

Low photo-toxicity and photo bleaching, high acquisition speeds, sensitive detection, good light penetration, 3D resolution.

For more information on the technologies check the special Collections issue in Nature Methods Journal exclusively dedicated to Laser Sheet Microscopy

References using SPIM and software of 4D-nature

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Optical projection Tomography (OPT)

OPT is a mesoscopic technique (Science 296 (5567): 541–5. April 2002) that is used to acquire panoramic 3D microscopy images of samples considered too big for conventional microscopy techniques (1-10mm). In OPT light is projected through a whole specimen treated with optical clearing agents, and the transmitted light is collected as the object rotates. Using backprojection algorithms, a 3D image of the specimen is reconstructed from the series of images acquired. OPT is rapidly becoming a widely used technique in biomedical research and has been employed so far to visualize fixed specimens such as whole mouse embryos, pancreas and peripheral lymph nodes among other (see for example, Kumar V et al, Front Immunol. 2012;3:282).

Advantages

Imaging of large specimens, isotropic resolution.

4Dnature - Tech_OPT_setup

Schematics of a combined OPT-SPIM setup capable of performing Helical OPT. Helical OPT is a new technique developed by members of our team for imaging large elongated samples.

References using OPT and software of 4D-nature:

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Fluorescence Molecular Tomography (FMT)

FMT is a tomographic technique that enables in-vivo 3D quantitative images of near infra-red fluorescent probes and proteins in deep tissues. FMT has emerged as a key non-invasive imaging technology in biomedical and preclinical research, due to the fact that it is high-throughput and it employs very specific activatable fluorescent probes or fluorescent proteins. It is based on modeling light propagation in tissues through the diffusion approximation in order to solve what is termed an “inverse problem” to recover the 3D spatial distribution of flurophore concentration.

Advantages

Non-invasive, in vivo deep tissue imaging, high sensitivity and specificity.

4Dnature - FMT_Setup

FMT Setup in reflectance mode, detailing the use of multiwavelength excitation and detection for multispectral FMT imaging

References using FMT and software of 4D-nature

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