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the study of microorganisms

Image Credit: Dr. Zvonimir Dogic, Dr. Thomas Gibaud, Dr. Edward Barry & Mark Zakhary

Microbiology is the study of microorganisms

Microbiology is a very large field that encompasses virology, bacteriology, parasitology and mycology.  The topic also spans a diverse range of applications, from clinical diagnosis and treatment to basic research. On the clinical end of the spectrum, Nikon provides ergonomic upright microscopes, the Ci series, that are tailored for quickly screening histology and immunohistochemical samples for identification of infectious agents in cells and tissues. Image digitization and telepathology are also available for data archival and sharing with colleagues in remote locations. Nikon’s TS-100 is a robust, easy-to-use tissue culture microscope that is often the laboratory workhorse for viewing and documenting cells during cell culture. On the research end of the applications spectrum, Nikon provides a suite of imaging systems that enable you to perform basic widefield fluorescence and brightfield imaging to advanced optical sectioning systems including confocals, TIRF, and multiphoton for deep tissue imaging. For the ultimate in high-resolution imaging, Nikon provides two super-resolution systems, N-SIM and N-STORM, enabling researchers to visualize infectious pathogens at nanoscopic resolution. High throughput imaging screens for drug development can be easily carried out with Nikon’s high content imaging system which not only provides automated image acquisition but also automated analysis whose results can intelligently drive acquisition parameters.

Imaging Challenges

In imaging, how do I overcome weak signal?

Optical sectioning can significantly improve signal-to-noise ratios.  For example, by using a high-sensitivity, back-thinned EM-CCD camera and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFm), one can visualize single fluorescent molecules near the coverslip.  For example, using TIRF, one can visualize and track viruses that are being endocytosed at the cytoplasmic membrane

Laser TIRF System (motorized)

How can I minimize exposure to dangerous biological agents?

Many of our imaging systems have been installed in biosafety level 3 and 4 facilities where dangerous biological agents can be safely contained.  Nikon also offers many long working distance lenses that minimize contact between the sample and instrument and help prevent cross contamination.  Nikon’s telepathology system which utilizes networking capabilities of the DS-L3 system also enables real-time data sharing with large groups while minimizing direct exposure to researchers/clinicians.

DS-L3 Controller

What should I use if very small samples are making imaging difficult?

Nikon’s super-resolution systems enable imaging with resolutions up to 85nm (N-SIM) and 20nm (N-STORM), ideal for visualizing small structures.

N-SIM Super-Resolution

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