Nikon Introduces New Super Resolution Microscopes N-SIM/N-STORM

December 3, 2009

Tokyo—Nikon Corporation (Michio Kariya, President) is pleased to announce the introduction of Super Resolution Microscopes N-SIM and N-STORM at the American Society For Cell Biology - 49th Annual Meeting (December 5-9, San Diego). The new microscope models have been designed to realize resolution higher than ever before achieved by conventional optical microscopes. The N-SIM was developed with technology licensed from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the N-STORM was developed with technology licensed from Harvard University.

Product Information

Product name Super Resolution Microscope N-SIM
Super Resolution Microscope N-STORM

Available from May 2010

Development Overview

There is a universal desire among top-end life science researchers to observe tissues and cells more clearly. Optical microscopes are essential for this purpose. However, if multiple objects such as protein molecules cluster at distances of less than 200 nm apart, conventional optical microscopes cannot identify them as single objects. In this case, other instrumentation such as electron microscopes must be used.

Nikon's super resolution fluorescence microscopy technology greatly exceeds the resolution limits of conventional optical microscopes, making it possible to view microstructures and nanostructures of living cells with molecular-scale resolution.


Super Resolution Microscope N-SIM

1.Nearly double the resolution of conventional optical microscopes

N-SIM nearly doubles the resolution of conventional optical microscopes by combining "Structured Illumination Microscopy" technology licensed from UCSF with Nikon's renowned CFI Apo TIRF 100x oil objective lens (NA 1.49), developed using unique optical technologies and manufacturing techniques. The Structured Illumination Microscopy technology was developed by Dr. Mats G. L. Gustafsson, Dr. John W. Sedat and Dr. David A. Agard of UCSF. Dr. Agard is currently a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at UCSF, and Dr. Gustafsson is a group leader at HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus.

2.Time resolution of 0.6 sec/frame, the fastest in the industry

N-SIM provides the fastest imaging capability in the industry, with a time resolution of 0.6 sec/frame, effective for live-cell imaging.

3.New TIRF-SIM and 3D-SIM imaging technique

The newly developed TIRF-SIM illumination technique enables Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) observation with higher resolution than conventional TIRF microscopes and gives more detailed structural information near cell membrane. In addition, another new 3D-SIM illumination technique has the capability of optical sectioning of specimens, enabling the visualization of more detailed cell spatial structures.

Super Resolution Microscope N-STORM

1.An order of magnitude better resolution than conventional optical microscopes

N-STORM provides dramatically enhanced resolution that is more than 10 times greater than conventional optical microscopes, with "Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy" technology developed by Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang—Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University—and colleagues.

2.Image construction by overlaying single molecule images

STORM is new technology that reconstructs high resolution fluorescence images (2D or 3D) from localization information of fluorophores detected with high accuracy and calculated from multiple exposures. It generates much more information and takes us one step further, from structural to molecular understanding of the specimen.

3.Three-dimensional information capability

N-STORM will not only provide high-resolution 2D-image-acquisition capability, but it will also provide high-resolution fluorescence images of the same specimen in 3D with a simple optical system switchover built into the microscope.

Mitochondria in a living NIH3T3 cell stained with MitoTracker Red
Total magnification: 250x

Conventional microscope

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.