May 23, 2012
USU expands research infrastructure with the new confocal microscope
USU recently aquired a new state-of-the art microscope, for use on a variety of research projects. The microscope, an LSM 710 from Carl Zeiss, is ideal for research in cell and molecular biology, neurobiology, physiology and developmental biology.
"The deans of science, engineering and agriculture felt strongly that this is an instrument that their faculty need for their research programs," said Jeff Broadbent, associate vice president for research. "We're committed to providing infrastructure to the best we can for the faculty as soon as we're aware of those needs and a good argument is made to go forward with that."
The LSM 710 is a highly sensitive microscope with improved sampling times, contrast and parallel imaging, compared to previous models.
“Capable of continuous spectral detection over the whole wavelength range with up to 10 dyes used simultaneously, the LSM 710 can perform virtually any application,” said Carl Joklik, the local account manager for Carl Zeiss Microscopy, LLC. “It’s basically a spectrometer and confocal microscope in one.”
Parallel spectral detection offers simultaneous 34-channel readout in lambda mode and linear unmixing. A sequential acquisition mode increases the spectral resolution to 3 nm.
Joklik said multicolor imaging can be performed to perfection, allowing users to use the latest fluorescent proteins without spectral crosstalk. Molecules, such as proteins and their interactions, can be analyzed using all current imaging methods.
The Office of Research and Graduate Studies partnered with the College of Agriculture to purchase the instrument, said Broadbent.
Other features of the LSM 710 include the introduction of four innovations; the PTC laser concept, TwinGate main beamsplitter, spectral recycling loop and QUASAR detector. A transmitted light detector (T-PMT) is provided to make the instrument “DIC ready” for simultaneous acquisition of fluorescent and transmitted light images.
Since the LSM 710 has a faster scan speed at lower zoom factors, researchers are able to observe cells longer and at higher spatial and temporal resolutions.
"In our department, the microscope is utilized to understand the structure of food as we work to solve problems to improve the stability of food or the functional performance," said Donald McMahon, professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences. "The microscope allows us to make a connection between the chemical composition of the food and how it performs in a food application."
- Nadiah Johari