The Fast Module for Zeiss LSM 880 Airyscan is Here!
June 14th, 2016
The Molecular Imaging Center is excited to announce that the Airyscan Fast Module has been installed and is ready to use on the Zeiss LSM 880 (aka “Trinity“). The Airyscan, described in more detail in this post, works by imaging the full Airy disk onto a 32-channel array detector. The Fast Module takes a similar approach by shaping the illumination beam into a short line, instead of a round spot, and then using only the center detectors to image the beam. This creates simultaneous, parallel illumination and detection of a line within the sample, but still with an improvement in resolution. The final image has 1.5X improved resolution although it is non-isometric in XY, and a 4X improvement in signal-to-noise ratio. All that and it’s 4X faster scanning compared to standard confocal or Airyscan microscopy.
Since the laser beam is spread out across a larger area, Fast Mode allows for gentler imaging, which reduces photobleaching and phototoxicity. Like regular Airyscan, Fast Mode does not require special sample preparation and can be paired with multi-photon to image deeper into samples. The final images do need to be Airyscan processed, however, before they can be used.
As the name implies, Fast Mode is very fast and has already allowed researchers to increase acquisition rates while also improving SNR. For instance, the Prosser Lab at the University of Pennsylvania used Airyscan Fast Mode to observe microtubule buckling in cardiomyocytes. They have seen buckling events for a while now, but for the first time, using Airyscan Fast Mode, they were able to obtain images of high enough quality to be able to quantify the buckling. Their results were reported in the April 22nd issue of Science.
The Zeiss team was at UC Berkeley in early June to give a seminar and demo. If you missed the seminar, you can watch the Fast Module webinar on Bite Size Bio. The webinar includes many beautiful examples of how the Fast Module can push the boundaries of imaging – including many samples from MIC users.