The total microscope imaging software solution covering image capture, archiving, and analysis.
NIS-Elements AR was developed by Nikon for the most advanced levels of research—giving the user complete control of all microscope and camera functions.
The software is geared to deliver power and maximize workflow. It handles multi-dimensional imaging flawlessly, with support for capture, display, peripheral device control, and data management and analysis of up to six dimensions (X,Y,Z, Lambda (wavelength), T, multipoint). It also offers sophisticated image processing features, such as an extremely powerful deconvolution module, exclusive one-click database capability, and Extended Depth of Focus function.
The system contributes to experiment efficiency with a database building feature developed to handle archiving and searching of large numbers of multi-dimensional image files.
Unified control of the entire imaging system offers significant benefits to users for cutting-edge research, such as live cell imaging.
Live Cell Acquisition
NIS-Elements performs live cell, 6D experiments quickly and flawlessly. It can organize X, Y, Z, Lambda (wavelength) and Time within one integral platform, for easier-than-ever multi-dimensional imaging. Four types of “dimensions” of acquisition – Time, Multipoint, Z-series, Wavelength (Multichannel)— can be selected.
RAM capturing enables the recording of sequences displaying very quick acquisitions lasting tens of milliseconds, by using a part of virtual memory to store temporary data of live images.
Multi-layer Document Structure
Each document (Image windows) is a three-tiered layer structure, and is therefore ideally suited for analysis. Multiple layer save is available with JPEG2000/ND2/LIM format.
NIS-Elements can work for all common file formats, such as JPEG2000, ND2, TIFF, JFF, JPG, JTF, BMP, LIM, AVI, ICS/IDS. ND2 is a special format for NIS-Elements. ND2 allows storing sequences of images acquired during ND experiments. It contains information about the hardware settings and the experiment conditions and settings.
ND Viewer (Multidimensional image display)
Easy-to-use parameters for multi-dimension image operation are located on the frame of the screen.
Once a multi-dimensional image is acquired, it can be analyzed via NIS-Elements’ multiple processing functions.
A series of images from timelapse acquisition, or captured Z-stack images, can be easily converted to ND2 format. The converted images can be viewed and processed using features of NIS-Elements multidimensional document.
NIS-Elements innovative analysis capabilities include object counting, automated measurements, region of intent measurements and time measurements including image ratioing of multi-channel images.
Using the RGB or HSI color spaces, NIS-Elements can segment the image and create binary images. Using the binary image, Automatic Measurement records length, area, angle and colorimetry.
Using binary objects, NIS-Elements can automatically measure sets of length, area, density and colorimetry parameters. About 30 different object features can be measured.
The measurement is performed by, for example, directly drawing two parallel lines on the screen. Features are available from: taxonomy, counts, length, semiaxes, area, angle or profile and all output statistics and histograms can be exported to MS Excel.
There are five possible interactive profile measurements: free line, two-point line, horizontal line, vertical line, and polyline.
Classifier allows segmentation of the image pixels according to different user-defined classes, and is based on different pixel features such as intensity values, RGB values, HIS values, or RGB values ignoring intensity. The classifier enables data to be saved in separate files.
Time measurement records the average pixel intensities within defined probes during a time interval and can be performed on live camera signals.
The software also handles:
- Single, dual, multiple fluorophores
Advanced Image Processing
NIS-Elements innovative image processing capabilities give users’ further control and functionality in their experiments. Advanced visualization methods, like capturing 3D data sets, 2D/3D data set analysis, and large image stitching can all be performed with relative ease with the software.
NIS-Elements offers a rich spectrum of mathematical morphology functions (clean, erode, dilate, open, close, smooth), morphologic separation functions, linear morphology functions, fill functions (fill holes, close holes), skeleton functions (medial axis, skeletonize, pruning) and other functions (such as: binary invert, convex hull, contour, skeletonize, homotopic marking, zones of influence, etc.).
Multiple single channel images (captured with different optical filters or under different camera settings) can be merged together simply by dragging from one image toanother. In addition, the combined images can be stored to a file while maintaining their original bit depths or optionally can be converted into a RGB image.
Image Arithmetic (A+B/A-B/Max/Min)
NIS-Elements’ Image Arithmetic function performs calcuations on the color channels of two images and creates a new image that is a combination of the two.
Large Image Stitching
NIS-Elements includes impressive large image stitching capabilities. Here's how it works: samples are scanned automatically using a motorized XY stage with auto-focus capability and captured images are stitched into one large image. Special algorithms ensure maximum accuracy, resulting in ultra high-resolution images.
EDF (Extended Depth of Focus)
Extended Depth of Focus (EDF) is an additional software plug-in for NIS-Elements. Thanks to the EDF function, images that have been captured in a different Z-axis can be combined to create an all-in-focus image. Also, it is possible to create stereovision image & 3D surface image for a virtual 3D image.
Real Time 2D Deconvolution
The real time 2D deconvolution module (from AutoQuant) allows the user to observe live specimens with less out-of-focus blur. It allows faint biological processes to be observed that may otherwise be missed and increases observed signal-to-noise ratio. Available in two- and three-dimensional image stacks.
NIS-Elements makes fluorescence and brightfield photodocumentation easy and intuitive, and offers extensive data management functions. The software’s interface is designed to simplify workflow, and delivers fast image acquisition speeds via direct streaming RAM to record rapid biological events. It provides complete control over Nikon motorized microscopes and other devices with powerful functions like a zoom control linked to calibration.
Selectable Layout Interface
NIS-Elements comes with the built-in layouts “Full Screen” and “Docked Controls.” Layouts of all windows and toolbars can be freely customized by the user and saved. Switching between layouts is achieved by a single mouse click.
Acquisition Color Setting
Color modification can be easily set with the LUT (look-up table). Indexed-color pixels are mapped into a selected set of true color values. The histogram, threshold, gamma parameter, and brightness of RGB components are adjustable. Modifications on live image processing can be easily accomplished on the GUI.
NIS-Elements has a powerful built-in image database. The database supports image and meta-data, allowing users to create report templates or direct printed and PDF based reports. Various databases and tables can easily be created and images can be saved to the database via one simple mouse click.
In addition, filtering, sorting and multiple grouping can all be performed through the GUI's drag and drop functionality. Detail, thumbnail, icon and grid views are available on both the database image and the images on the file system.
NIS-Elements uses a sophisticated image documentation structure making it possible to achieve non-destructive archiving of image data including annotation (arrows, lines, text notes), measurement data, binary data for storing results of threshold or classification processes, and meta-data information for recording acquisition and device conditions at the time of image acquisition.
Flexibility in tailoring the software for specific applications is possible through simple built-in macro recording and the Advanced Macro Builder.
Report Generator enables the user to create customized reports containing images, database descriptions, measured data, user texts, and graphics.
PDF format files can be created directly from NIS-Elements.