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Super-Resolution Microscope System

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Easily image at two times the conventional resolution limit of the light microscope, to resolve structures and living samples at high speed.

Utilizing a unique high-speed structured illumination system, Nikon’s N-SIM S achieves acquisition speeds up to 15 frames per second, enabling the acquisition of fast biological processes at twice the spatial resolution of conventional light microscopes, in multiple structured illumination modalities.  

Key Features

Twice the Resolution of Conventional Optical Microscopes

N-SIM doubles the resolution of conventional optical microscopes (~115nm in 3D SIM mode*) by combining “Structured Illumination Microscopy” technology licensed from UCSF with Nikon’s renowned CFI Apo TIRF 100x oil objective lens (N.A. 1.49).

* resolution will depend on laser wavelength and imaging mode.





Human liver tissue sample immunohistochemically prepared

Peroxisome organelles (green), whose annular structure cannot be resolved using conventional microscopy, can easily be observed using SIM.

Sample courtesy Simon C. Watkins, Ph.D., Director and Founder of the Center for Biological Imaging, University of Pittsburg.





Cells expressing GFP-tubulin

Dedicated 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 performance with the lowest asymmetric aberration.

Deep imaging without spherical aberration using Silicone immersion.

  Cell expressing GFP-keratin

Multi-modal imaging (e.g., SIM+Confocal or TIRF-SIM) using water immersion or high numerical aperture TIRF objectives

(automatic motorized correction collar versions are available)


Large field of view using air objective lenses, allows SIM imaging for specimens not compatible with immersion objectives.


Large field of view using air objective lenses, allows SIM imaging for specimens not compatible with immersion objectives

15 Frames per second Fast SIM

N-SIM S is capable of 15 frame per second super resolution imaging, making it very effective for live cell imaging applications.

Cell expressing GFP-EB3 imaged at 15 FPS


A widefield technique, N-SIM S delivers lower power density illumination to the sample than confocal techniques, making it gentle on live specimens and still delivering 2 times the conventional resolution of light microscopes.

Live Cell Super-Resolution Imaging

Nikon’s new high-speed structured illumination system utilizes a novel pattern modulation technology to generate fast and precise switching of illumination patterns. The N-SIM S Super Resolution Microscope achieves incredible acquisition speeds (up to 15 fps*), enabling super-resolution time-lapse imaging of live cells and intracellular dynamics. Discover a new level of live-cell imaging with the N-SIM S.* 2D-SIM mode, 512 x 512 pixels, 2 msecexposure time.
Endosomes of COS7 cell labeled with YFP captured in 3D-SIM mode
Image courtesy of: Yasushi Okada, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo
Image courtesy of Dr. Kaoru Katoh, The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

Multiple SIM Modes

Automatic switching between illumination modes not only enables fast acquisition rates but also automated optimization of structured illumination patterns for different wavelengths and magnifications. This expanded automation enables TIRF-SIM imaging as well as multiplexing of different SIM modalities.

3D-SIM mode

The 3D-SIM mode generates structured illumination patterns in three dimensions to deliver a two-fold improvement in lateral and axial resolution. Two reconstruction methods (“slice” and “stack”) are available to optimize results for application requirements (e.g. sample thickness, speed, etc.).


The TIRF-SIM mode enables Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence observation at double the resolution of conventional TIRF microscopes, facilitating a greater understanding of molecular interactions at the cell surface.


2D-SIM mode

This mode captures super-resolution 2D images at high speed with incredible contrast.

Mitotracker Orange 15 FPS timelapse

Multi-Channel Super Resolution

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.

Growth cone of NG108 cell expressing GFP-LifeAct(F-actin, green) and mCherry-tubulin (microtubules, red) Photo courtesy of: Dr. Kaoru Katoh, The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

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