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Super-Resolution Microscope System

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Introducing an all-new super-resolution system for the individual lab. Achieve 2x resolution at half the price!


N-SIM E Configured with A1+ Confocal Microscope

Utilizing structured illumination microscopy (SIM) technology, the all-new N-SIM E realizes double the spatial resolution of conventional optical microscopes (to approximately 115 nm). N-SIM E is a streamlined, affordable super-resolution system supporting only essential, commonly used excitation wavelengths and imaging modes, making it an obvious choice for individual labs.

Key Features

Double the Resolution of Conventional Optical Microscopes

The N-SIM E utilizes Nikon’s innovative new approach to “structured illumination microscopy” technology. By pairing this powerful technology with Nikon’s renowned CFI SR Apochromat TIRF 100x oil objective (NA 1.49), the N-SIM E nearly doubles the spatial resolution of conventional optical microscopes (to approximately 115 nm*), and enables detailed visualization of the minute intracellular structures and their interactive functions.

* Excited with 488 nm laser, in 3D-SIM mode

Microtubules in B16 melanoma cell labeled with YFP

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

Image capturing speed: approximately 1.8 sec/frame (movie)

Photographed with the cooperation of: Dr. Yasushi Okada, Laboratory for Cell Polarity Regulation, Quantitative Biology Center, RIKEN


Super-resolution image (Slice 3D-SIM mode)


Conventional widefield image

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in living HeLa cell labeled with GFP

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

Image capturing speed: approximately 1.5 sec/frame (movie)

Photographed with the cooperation of: Dr. Ikuo Wada, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine


Super-resolution image (Slice 3D-SIM mode)


Conventional widefield image

Fast Temporal Resolution of Approx. 1 sec/frame

N-SIM E provides fast imaging performance for Structured Illumination techniques, with a time resolution of approximately 1 sec/frame, which is effective for live-cell imaging.

Axial Super-High Resolution Imaging with 3D-SIM Mode

Slice 3D-SIM mode allows axial super-resolution imaging with optical sectioning at 300 nm resolution in live-cell specimens. Optional Stack 3D-SIM mode can image thicker specimens with higher contrast than Slice 3D-SIM mode.

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

The super-resolution microscope allows for accurate localization of the protein during division.

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


Super-resolution image (Slice 3D-SIM mode)


conventional widefield image

Mouse keratinocyte labeled with an antibody against keratin intermediate filaments and stained with an Alexa Fluor 488 conjugated second antibody.

Photos courtesy of: Dr. Reinhard Windoffer, RWTH Aachen University


Stack 3D-SIM mode (Volume view)


Stack 3D-SIM mode (Maximum projection)

3-color Multi-Laser Super-Resolution Capability

The compact LU-N3-SIM laser unit dedicated for N-SIM E is installed with the three most commonly used wavelength lasers (488/561/640), enabling super-high resolution imaging in multiple colors. It enables the study of dynamic interactions of multiple proteins of interest at the molecular level.

The Principle of Structured Illumination Microscopy

Analytical processing of recorded moiré patterns produced by overlay of a known high spatial frequency pattern, mathematically restores the sub-resolution structure of a specimen.


Illumination with a known, high spatial frequency pattern allows for the extraction of super-resolution information from the resulting moiré fringes.

Utilization of high spatial frequency laser interference to illuminate sub-resolution structure within a specimen produces moiré fringes, which are captured. These moiré fringes include modulated information of the sub-resolution structure of the specimen. Through image processing, the unknown specimen information can be recovered to achieve resolution beyond the limit of conventional optical microscopes.

Create super-resolution images by processing multiple moiré pattern images

An image of moiré patterns captured in this process includes information of the minute structures within a specimen. Multiple phases and orientations of structured illumination are captured, and the displaced "super resolution" information is extracted from moiré fringe information. This information is combined mathematically in "Fourier" or aperture space and then transformed back into image space, creating an image at double the conventional resolution limit.


Create super-resolution images by processing multiple images 

Capture multiple images with structured illumination that is shifted in phase.

Repeat this process for three different angles. This series of images are then processed using advanced algorithms to obtain super-resolution images. 

Utilizing high-frequency striped illumination to double the resolution

The capture of high resolution, high spatial frequency information is limited by the Numerical Aperture (NA) of the objectives, and spatial frequencies of structure beyond the optical system aperture are excluded (Fig. A). Illuminating the specimen with high frequency structured illumination, which is multiplied by the unknown structure in the specimen beyond the classical resolution limit, brings the displaced "super resolution" information within the optical system aperture (Fig. B).

When this “super-resolution” information is then mathematically combined with the standard information captured by the objective lens, it results in resolutions equivalent to those captured with objective lenses with approximately double the NA (Fig. C).


Fig. A: Resolution is limited by the NA of the objective


Fig. B: The product of Structured Illumination and normally un-resolvable specimen structure produce recordable moiré fringes containing the specimen information at double the conventional resolution limit.


Fig. C: Images with resolutions equivalent to those captured with objective lenses with approximately double the NA are achieved.

Objectives for Super-Resolution Microscopes

The system can be configured with either a 100x oil immersion type, which is suitable for the imaging of fixed samples, or a 60x water immersion type, which is optimal for time-lapse live-cell imaging.

The SR (super resolution) objectives have been designed to provide superb optical performance with Nikon’s super-resolution microscopes.

The adjustment and inspection of lenses using wavefront aberration measurement have been applied to yield optical performances with the lowest possible asymmetric aberration.


CFI SR Plan Apochromat IR 60x WI


CFI SR Apochromat TIRF 100x oil

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