Sparq 2018-04-18T14:40:14+00:00

Fast optical sectioning at a fraction of the price.

Robust optical sectioning with superior speed and contrast.

Optical sectioning reveals 3D information through sequential imaging of adjacent sample planes. Sectioning relies on rejection of out-of-focus elements from adjacent planes that tend to confuse the end result, and high-quality results can be costly. The future of optical sectioning belongs to systems that provide high contrast and resolution at a low cost. Supercharge your widefield fluorescence imaging with SPARQ and see clearly how Bliq’s team is improving microscopy. Going light on your budget has never looked so good!

Bliq Photonics’ Sparq is a reliable and compact system that enables any widefield microscope to perform high contrast non-scanning optical sectioning up to 30 frames per second at 2048×2048. Sparq is available as a complete imaging system (from lasers to microscope to camera) and as an upgrade to widefield imaging systems. Based on patented HiLo technology, the Sparq module produces sharper and more high resolution images from live or fixed samples. The result is a dramatic improvement in image contrast and spatial resolution that rivals the performance of more costly laser scanning technologies.

See as deep as a confocal system.

Bliq Photonics’ Sparq widefield imaging system still provides high resolution and contrast at a depth of 100 µm in fixed tissue sections.

Maximum intensity projection of a mouse brain hippocampus (100 µm) with 0.5 µm steps using Sparq (left) or LSM (right). Courtesy of Jerome Mertz, Boston University.

Upgrade your widefield microscope with optical sectioning.

Cost-effectively improve the axial resolution and optical sectioning of your existing widefield microscope using the Sparq module. Bliq Photonics’ compact solution includes a laser combiner with up to 7 excitation wavelengths, the Sparq module, a 2048 by 2048 sCMOS camera, an Apple computer/monitor, and Bliq’s Nirvana imaging software. Importantly, the Sparq add-on still allows your microscope to perform conventional widefield imaging.

Comparison between conventional widefield (top), Sparq (middle) and laser-scanning microscopy (LSM, bottom). The Sparq technology rapidly removes out-of-focus elements using two differently illuminated images that are mathematically processed, producing high resolution and high contrast optical sectioning at 30 full FPS at 2048×2048 pixels each.

Applications

  • Live cell imaging (ex vivo and in vitro):
    • Calcium imaging
    • Cell migration and cell tracking
    • Cell signaling
  • Fixed tissues :
    • Up to 100 µm-thick tissues
    • Cleared tissues

SPARQ bundles

Here are two examples of complete Sparq microscopes, one for live cell imaging, the other for fixed tissues.
**Please note that all components of the Sparq systems can be modified to fit your particular needs.**

Bundle Live cell imaging Fixed tissue imaging
Optimized for CFP/YFP/mCherry Optimized for DAPI/GFP/TRITC/Cy5
_ _ _
Laser wavelengths 445 nm (100 mW),
532 nm (50-500 mW),
594 nm (50-100 mW)
405 nm (50-300 mW),
488 nm (50-200 mW),
532 nm (50-500 mW),
633 nm (100 mW)
_ _ _
Filters Single band for CFP, YFP and mCherry Single band for DAPI, GFP, TRITC and Cy5
Triple band : Ex (438/509/578-25),
Dichroic (459/526/596),
Em (475/543/702-25)
Quadruple band : Ex (390/482/532/640-25),
Dichroic (405/488/532/635),
Em (446/510/581/703-25)
_ _ _
Detection (widefield) 100 FPS sCMOS camera, 2048 by 2048, QE 82% 100 FPS sCMOS camera, 2048 by 2048, QE 82%
Second camera for 2-channel simultaneous acquisition at 100 FPS each Second camera for 2-channel simultaneous acquisition at 100 FPS each
_ _ _
Acquisition speed Sparq’s optical sectionning : up to 30 FPS (2048×2048) Sparq’s optical sectionning : up to 30 FPS (2048×2048)
Conventional widefield : up to 100 FPS (2048×2048) Conventional widefield : up to 100 FPS (2048×2048)
_ _ _
Objectives 10X (air, NA 0.3, WD 9.5mm) 10X (air, NA 0.4, WD 3.1mm)
20X(air, NA 0.7, WD 0.8-1.8mm) 20X (air, NA 0.6, WD 0.6mm)
40X (air, NA 0.6, WD 3.0-4.2mm) 40X (air, NA 0.95, WD 0.18mm)
60X (oil, NA 1.42, WD 0.15mm) 60X (oil, NA 1.35, WD 0.15mm)
_ _ _
Microscope stand Inverted Upright
Motorized Z axis (software-controlled) or manual Motorized Z axis (software-controlled) or manual
_ _ _
Stage Motorized XY axis (software-controlled) with sample holder (slides, Petri dishes, plates, etc.) Motorized XY axis (software-controlled) with sample holder (slides, Petri dishes, plates, etc.)
_ _ _
Computer iMac Pro, 4.2 GHz, 128 GB SDRAM, 4 TB SSD,
27″ 5K display (5120 by 2880)
iMac Pro, 4.2 GHz, 128 GB SDRAM, 4 TB SSD,
27″ 5K display (5120 by 2880)

Specifications – Sparq

Please note that all components of the proposed Spark upgrade can be modified to fit your particular needs*.

Commercial system upgrade
Light sources 1 to 6 different laser sources (visible to near-IR : 400 to 785 nm)
Customer can also provide its own laser sources*
_ _
Filters Single pass filters for each laser
Multiple wavelengths filter (for increased speed)
Customer can also provide its own filters*
_ _
Detection 100 FPS sCMOS camera, 2048 by 2048, QE 82%
Possibility of 2-channel simultaneous acquisition at 100 FPS
Customer can also provide its own camera*
_ _
Microscope stand Upright or inverted*
_ _
Stage Motorized XY axis (software-controlled) with sample holder (slides, Petri dishes, plates, etc.)
Customer can also provide its own stage*
_ _
Sparq trigger Manual
Possibility of integration into a Windows-base system*
_ _
Computer iMac Pro, 4.2 GHz, 128 GB SDRAM, 4 TB SSD, 27″ 5K display (5120 by 2880)
Customer can also provide its own computer*

*Compatibility of the equipment cannot be guaranteed and must be verified with Bliq Photonics’ team.

Sparq technology

Wide-field fluorescence sectioning with hybrid speckle and uniform-illumination microscopy. (2008) Lim D, Chu KK, Mertz J. Opt Express, Vol 33, No 16. (Pubmed)

Optically sectioned in vivo imaging with speckle illumination HiLo microscopy. (2011) Lim D, Ford TN, Chu KK, Mertz J. J Biomed Opt, Vol 16(1), (PubMed).