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Resonant Scanning Confocal System

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Bring imaging to life: high-speed, high-resolution confocal imaging.

Capturing high-quality confocal images at ultrahigh-speed and enhanced sensitivity with a resonant scanner and galvano scanner, Nikon's A1R+ is a powerful tool for the imaging and visualization of intracellular dynamics and interaction.

Key Features

Revolutionary Hybrid Confocal Scan Head

The A1R+ has a hybrid scanner head that incorporates both an ultrahigh-speed resonant scanner and a high-resolution galvano scanner. Simultaneous photoactivation and ultrafast imaging using these two scanners allow acquisition of rapid changes after photoactivation and enables observation of intermolecular interaction.


HeLa cells expressing Yellow Cameleon 3.60 were excited with 457 nm laser light. After stimulation with histamine, calcium ion concentration dynamics were observed. The (blue) emission of CFP and the (yellow) emission of YFP are shown as green and red channels respectively. The graph displays fluorescence intensity (vertical) versus time (horizontal). The green and red lines in the graph indicate the intensity change of CFP emission (green) and YFP emission (red) from the region of interest (ROI). Along with the increase of calcium ion concentration in the cell, the intermolecular FRET efficiency between CFP and YFP within Yellow Cameleon 3.60 increases, the CFP fluorescence intensity decreases, and the YFP fluorescence intensity increases. Imaging laser wavelength: 457 nm, Image size: 512 x 512 pixels, 30 fps (with resonant scanner) Photos courtesy of: Dr. Kenta Saito and Prof. Takeharu Nagai, Research Institute for Electronic Science, Hokkaido University

Resonant Scanner Provides Ultrafast Imaging

The A1R+ resonant scanner has an ultrahigh resonance frequency of 7.8 kHz. It allows imaging of intercellular dynamics at 30 fps (512 x 512 pixels) and 420 fps (512 x 32 pixels), the world's fastest image acquisition. The field of view of the scanned area is approximately five times larger than that of the galvano scanner. The Nikon original optical clock generation method realizes high image quality even at the highest speed. The fiber-optic communication data transfer system can transfer data at a maximum of 4Gbps.


Mouse blood vessel administered Tetramethyl Rhodamine and Acridine Orange and observed at 120 fps (8 ms/frame, with resonant scanner) Red: blood vessel, Green: nucleus Tile images displayed every 8 ms The arrows indicate white blood cell flow in the vessel. Photos courtesy of: Dr. Satoshi Nishimura, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, the University of Tokyo, Nano-Bioengineering Education Program, the University of Tokyo, PRESTO, Japan Science and Technology Agency

Galvano Scanner Enables High-resolution Imaging

The A1+ utilizes a galvano scanner which enables high-resolution imaging of up to 4096 x 4096 pixels. In addition, with the newly developed scanner driving and sampling systems, plus image correction technology, high-speed acquisition of 10 fps (512 x 512 pixels) is also possible.

Zebrafish labeled with four probes (captured with galvano scanner) Nucleus (blue): Hoechst33342, Pupil (green): GFP, Nerve (yellow): Alexa555, Muscle (red): Alexa647.

Drosophila sp. embryonic heart


Bovine brain microvascular endothelial cells labeled with MitoTracker (mitochondria, yellow), phalloidin (actin, blue) and Hoechst (DNA, magenta).

GaAsP Multi Detector Unit


Sensitivity comparison of GaAsP PMT and normal PMT GaAsP PMT realizes higher sensitivity than normal PMT, thus offering high quantum efficiency up to 45%. * Quantum efficiency indicates logarithm

Nikon developed the GaAsP multi-detector unit equipped with two GaAsP PMTs and two normal PMTs.

A GaAsP PMT has much higher sensitivity than a normal PMT, thus acquisition of brighter signals with minimal background noise is possible with a GaAsP PMT, even with weak fluorescence, which, until now, has been difficult to detect.

When using resonant scanners, the GaAsP PMT enables low-noise, high-speed imaging.


GaAsP detector


Normal detector

Increased Light Detection Efficiency

The low-angle incidence method utilized on the dichroic mirrors increases fluorescence efficiency by 30%.

Conventional 45°
 incidence angle method
Reflection-transmission characteristics have high polarization dependence
 incidence method
Reflection-transmission characteristics have lower polarization dependence

By employing the hexagonal pinhole, higher brightness equivalent to that of a circular pinhole is achieved.


Square pinhole

64% of the area of the circle
30% more light

Hexagonal pinhole

83% of the area of the circle

Nikon's original dual integration signal processing technology (DISP) has been implemented in the image processing circuitry to improve electrical efficiency, resulting in an extremely high S/N ratio.

Enhanced Spectral Imaging

Acquisition of a 32-channel spectral image (512 x 512 pixels) with a single scan in 0.6 second is possible. Moreover, 512 x 32-pixel images can be captured at 24 fps.

Accurate, High-speed Unmixing

Accurate spectral unmixing provides maximum performance in the separation of closely overlapping fluorescence spectra and the elimination of autofluorescence. Superior algorithms and high-speed data processing enable real time unmixing during image acquisition.


Spectral and unmixed images of five-color-fluorescence-labeled HeLa cells. Specimen courtesy of: Dr Tadashi Karashima, Department of Dermatology, Kurume University School of Medicine.

V-filtering Function

Filter-less intensity adjustment is possible by selecting desired spectral ranges from 32 channels that match the spectrum of the fluorescence probe in use and combining them to perform the filtering function.


Increased flexibility and ease of use

NIS-Elements C control software enables integrated control of the confocal imaging system, microscope and peripheral devices with a simple and intuitive interface. Diverse reliable analysis functions are also available.

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