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F.A.Q. Session (please contribute sending by your requests/questions)

[Interview with Mike Tjepkema / Imaging Specialist @ W. Nuhsbaum, Inc.]


Since the first spinning disk confocal head was released over twenty years ago, there has been a flood of new and different products. Each product has its merits, such as exceptional light transmission, enhanced resolution, flatness of field, speed, and/or versatility to accommodate multiple techniques (FRAP, for instance).

Microlens based spinning disk systems established itself as the gold standard for spinning disk confocal in large part due to its brightness and image quality. The spinning disks themselves have a unique strategy for enhancing laser light to the sample while still providing confocality for the emission light – a dual disk design with microlenses on the excitation disk. The microlenses are used to increase laser light to the sample, but they are not utilized in the emission light path. This strategy ensures that the excitation light is bright, but the emission light passes through a clean pinhole.

With increasing laser power from laser manufacturers such as Coherent and increasing computing power to leverage super resolution confocal imaging, several manufacturers have started developing, and bringing to market, confocals that could supplant the Yokogawa CSU series as the de facto gold standard for spinning disk confocal imaging.

One system in particular was developed by an upstart company called CrestOptics. With a small team of scientists and engineers the X-Light burst onto the scene in 2012 (today the Company significantly increased in size and business especially with OEM Partners such as ThermoFisher, Molecular Devices and Nikon). Their latest generation called the X-Light V2 spinning disk confocal comes with an improved light path and an optional upgrade to high speed structured illumination. With options like these, the CrestOptics  X-Light V2 has the potential to unseat the Yokogawa as the go-to spinning disk confocal system for biologists.

The design of the CrestOptics  X-Light V2 is unique, it does not use the expensive microlenses and dual disk strategy implemented in the microlens based spinning disk systems. Instead the X-Light V2 uses a simple and less expensive single disk with a proprietary pinhole pattern and superior 15,000 RPM motor. A version with 20.000RPM rotation speed disk is available as well.

It has the option for a manual emission filter wheel to reduce cost and can work with one of the many multi-channel LED light sources when lasers prove to be too expensive.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with Andrea Latini, Ph.D., President of CrestOptics , about the X-Light V2 and its improvements over the previous generation.



All computational algorithms, CUDA capability support and full X-Light V1/V2/VCS/FRAP support are available with Molecular Devices MetaMorphTM Software, Nikon NIS ElementsTM, and MicroManager.



Crestoptics S.p.A.

Via Mattia Battistini, 184/D - 00167 ROMA

Tel. 0039.06.61660508 - FAX 0039.06.61662738



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