ZEISS licenses Differential Intensity Processing (SR-DIP) from VIB BioImaging Core for fluorescence microscope systems
Laser-scanning confocal microscopy, which enables scientists to construct 3D representations of objects in the range of hundreds of nanometer, has been the workhorse and method of choice for imaging for decades now and has revolutionized our view of biology and life sciences. Scientists at the VIB BioImaging Core, Belgium have taken the potential of confocal microscopy across the diffraction barrier by using innovative software-based image analysis tools. This new, patented methodology now makes this possible through a collaboration between VIB and German microscopy leader ZEISS.
The diffraction barrier has been considered a limit that traditional microscopy could not cross using the classical microscopy technology available in many labs. Although in recent past super-resolution techniques have been developed, they have been limited, as samples were tedious to prepare and/or needed dedicated microscope systems. With the new development, Professor Sebastian Munck and his VIB BioImaging Core are taking microscopy to the next level, as standard off-the-shelf devices can be used with no need for additional hardware or complicated sample preparation. VIB researchers have developed an innovative technique that enables superresolution with confocal microscopes.
Scientists at VIB are familiar with demands and pain points in microscopy. Some of the hassle involved with other superresolution techniques include complex sample preparation and optimizing protein labeling. Originally titled Point Detection Imaging Microscopy through Photobleaching, VIB’s new technique increases resolution in biological samples beyond the diffraction limit. One of the great advantages is the versatility of the approach, by making it possible to apply superresolution on off-the-shelf microscopes. This means that all the benefits and decades of optimization like standard sample preparation and customer oriented developments like multicolor imaging are ready to be used.
Sebastian Munck, professor at VIB BioImaging Core Leuven: “We wanted to make superresolution super easy to be able to focus on our research questions instead of focusing on the technology.” After inventing the technology, the next step was to engage with industry. Germany-based ZEISS Microscopy is now adding superresolution powers based on VIB technology to their portfolio of LSM confocal superresolution techniques. Ralf Engelmann, Product Manager for 3D Microscopy at ZEISS: “Superresolution is still one of the main trends in microscopy and a strong driver for new discoveries. SR-DIP, as we are calling the new software module for our ZEN imaging platform, makes superresolution available for researchers who can’t afford big hardware investments but still want to perform cutting edge research with fixed samples and their ZEISS confocal imaging system.” Jérôme Van Biervliet, Senior Business Development Manager at the VIB: “We are excited that this technology will be available for research via the commitment of ZEISS. This is a tool for even better research, enabling even more thorough molecular understanding of how molecular players in disease functionally interact at disease onset and progression – with the ultimate end goal of developing even more effective interventions.”
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