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Super-Resolution Microscope System

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Super-resolution microscope visualizing cellular structures and molecular activity at resolutions never before achieved by conventional light microscopy.

Nikon’s N-SIM microscopy system can produce twice the resolution of conventional optical microscopes. Using an innovative approach based on Structured Illumination Microscopy technology licensed from UCSF, the N-SIM enables detailed visualization of minute intracellular structures and their functions.

Key Features

Twice the Resolution of Conventional Optical Microscopes

N-SIM doubles the resolution of conventional optical microscopes (to approx 85 nm) by combining “Structured Illumination Microscopy” technology licensed from UCSF with Nikon’s renowned CFI Apo TIRF 100x oil objective lens (N.A. 1.49).

Macrophages (J774 cells expressing mVenus-SNAP23) phagocytosing opsonized beads that were incubated with Alexa555 labeled secondary antibodies after fixation.

The beads without red signals are in phagosomes containing mVenus-SNAP23.

Photographed with the cooperation of: Drs. Chie Sakurai, Kiyotaka Hatsuzawa and Ikuo Wada, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine.

Dedicated Super-resolution Objectives

Super-Resolution Objectives

The SR (super-resolution) objectives have been designed for new applications that break the diffraction barrier.

The most recent optical designs using wavefront aberration measurement have been applied to yield superb optical performances with the lowest asymmetric aberration.

Time Resolution of 0.6 sec/frame, the Fastest in the Industry

N-SIM provides the fastest imaging capability in the industry, with a time resolution of 0.6 sec/frame, effective for live-cell imaging.


Live-cell N-SIM imaging of mitochondria labeled with Mito-Tracker red.

Live-cell imaging with N-SIM reveals dynamics of mitochondria at twice the spatial resolution. Cristae in mitochondria are also clearly observed.

Mode: Slice 3D-SIM mode

Objective: CFI Apochromat TIRF 100x oil (NA 1.49)

Image capturing interval: approximately 1 sec. (movie)

Live Cell Super-Resolution Imaging

The combination of fast image capture and the availability of stage top incubation allows live cell imaging at twice the resolution of conventional microscopes.

Bacillus subtilis bacterium stained with membrane dye Nile Red (red), and expressing the cell division protein DivIVA fused to GFP (green).

N-SIM enables accurate localization of the protein during division.

Photos courtesy of: Drs Henrik Strahl and Leendert Hamoen, Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Newcastle University

Multiple SIM Modes


The 3D-SIM illumination technique improves axial resolution to 300 nm and has the capability of optical sectioning of specimens, enabling the visualization of more detailed cell structures at higher spacial resolutions up to 20μm in thickness.

Luminal surface of the organ of Corti at postnatal day 1. (Mouse)

Green: F-actin, red: acetylated-tubulin

Photographed with the cooperation of: Drs. Kanoko Kominami, Hideru Togashi, and Yoshimi Takai, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine/Faculty of Medicine


The 2D-SIM illumination technique allows high speed capture with incredible contrast. TIRF-SIM takes advantage of Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence observation to give ultimate sectioning at the cell surface with twice the resolution of conventional microscopes.

5 Laser Multi-color Super-resolution Imaging


Human U2OS cell during mitosis metaphase
The cell is labeled green (kinetochore protein CENP-B), red (alpha-tubulin) and blue (DNA).

Photo courtesy of: Dr. Alexey Khodjakov, Wadsworth Center, Albany NY

The Nikon N-SIM system allows multi-channel imaging with up to 5 lasers enabling the study of dynamic interactions of multiple proteins of interest at the molecular level.

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