Cameras For Light Sheet Microscopy


Light sheet microscopy enables scientists to overcome two major problems in modern microscopy. Namely, to image biological samples for much longer under physiologically relevant conditions than with conventional microscopy techniques and to image samples of considerable size in a more reasonable and relevant time frame.

Scientific camera technology must therefore have the specifications to match these imaging requirements.

Iris 15 sCMOS

The Iris 15 sCMOS is a large format CMOS camera specifically designed for light sheet microscopy with a massive 25 mm diagonal field of view and small 4.25×4.25 μm pixels.

Iris 15 Scientific CMOS (sCMOS)

Light sheet microscopy is typically performed with low magnification objectives to maximize the field of view for imaging large samples. A larger field of view camera allows large samples to be imaged without needing to stitch multiple images together. Alternatively, for smaller samples, the large field of view can be split to perform multichannel imaging easily on the same sensor.

The small, 4.25×4.25 μm pixels achieve Nyquist sampling at 40x magnification, which gives improved resolution over typical sCMOS devices for all low magnification objectives.

Light sheet microscopy is designed to image dynamic events in live cells over long time scales. The high 73% peak quantum efficiency (QE) and low 1.5 e- read noise maximizes dim signal detection and allows for short exposure times to minimize the photodamaging effect of light on samples. The high QE is maintained far into the red and infra-red which is perfect for light sheet applications that image deep into cells and tissues.

Finally, images can be acquired at 32 frames per second at full frame allowing dynamic events to be visualized with high speed on a massive field of view.

Prime BSI Express sCMOS

The Prime BSI Express sCMOS is a high sensitivity CMOS camera with a balanced 6.5 µm pixel size designed for high sensitivity and speed.

Prime BSI Express Camera

The high, 95% quantum efficiency and low 1.0 e– read noise combined with the balanced 6.5 µm pixel size and 90 fps full-frame offers higher sensitivity than conventional sCMOS devices whilst maintaining the expected high resolution, large field of view and high speed.

When the Iris 15 isn’t enough, the Prime BSI Express provides the necessary boost in sensitivity and speed but with a more typical 18.8 mm diagonal field of view.

Prime 95B sCMOS

The Prime 95B sCMOS is a high sensitivity CMOS camera designed for imaging at extremely low light with high speed and low noise.

Prime 95B photo
Prime 95B Scientific CMOS (sCMOS)

Light sheet microscopy is considerably less damaging to live cells than other forms of fluorescence microscopy which enables samples to be imaged over very long time scales. The almost perfect, 95% QE sensor of the Prime 95B allows light intensity to be reduced even further while maintaining a high level of signal detection. This is ideal for reducing the effects of photobleaching as well as improving the condition of samples that are particularly sensitive to photodamage.

Compared to typical sCMOS devices, the exposure time on the Prime 95B could be reduced by up to four times and still give equivalent detection. It also maintains the large field of view (18.66 mm diagonal) and high speed (82 fps, full frame) expected of typical sCMOS devices. If a larger field of view is required, a version of the Prime 95B with a 25 mm diagonal is also available.

The large, 11×11 μm pixels provide additional sensitivity and have a large 80,000 e- full well capacity with a low 1.6 e- read noise, giving the Prime 95B a very high dynamic range, ideal for performing high contrast imaging. The large pixels give superior resolution with high magnification objectives but can be corrected optically to provide the same high sensitivity to lower magnification objectives.

We would encourage anyone considering purchasing a camera for light sheet microscopy to request a demonstration of the Iris, Prime BSI or Prime 95B to see the advantages they provide.