Scan volumes, not planes.
Bliq Photonics’ patented Axicon technology turns 2D scans into 3D volumetric imaging. The Axicon module is a powerful optical tool that easily allows the direct and rapid visualization of events happening at different focal planes. The Axicon also provides compensation for tissue movement causing imaging artifacts.
See more, faster. Both in vivo and ex vivo.
Coupled with the acquisition speed and sensitive detection of Bliq Photonics’ VMS microscope, the number of volumes scanned per second by the Axicon are multiplied (see Table A in the Applications tab). For example, the Axicon module installed on Bliq Photonics’ VMS can scan 30 volumes of 400x200x100 µm per second without loss of resolution!
The increased depth of field offered by Bliq Photonics’ Axicon (red) provides more information compared to laser-scanning microscopy (LSM, green). Courtesy of Dr Daniel C. Côté, CERVO Research Center, Université Laval.
The acquisition of 3D volumes instead of 2D planes is made possible by the generation of a Bessel beam by the Axicon that drastically increases the depth of field. The Axicon’s optical design can integrate lenses built for visible or infrared light, allowing the module to be integrated into multiphoton and confocal systems.
Ideal for imaging rapid events happening at distinctive focal planes. Applications include :
- Calcium imaging
- Cell migration and cell tracking
- Cell signaling
In moving or unstable tissue, sample movements often cause imaging artifacts both within and between frames. The fast acquisition speed of Bliq’s VMS microscope, together with the volumetric imaging capabilities of the Axicon, can easily compensate for X, Y and Z displacements. Bliq’s VMS and Axicon can therefore significantly improve image quality in scenarios where motion artifacts are caused by :
- Blood pressure/flow
- Muscle movements
- Tissue drifting over time
- And more
Table A – Examples of frame and volume scanning times for different scanners using Bliq Photonics’ Axicon.
|Scanning method||Galvanometer||Resonant scanner||Bliq’s polygonal scanner|
|Field of view (µm)||400 x 200||400 x 200||400 x 200|
|Image size (pixels)||1024 x 512||1024 x 512||1024 x 512|
|Acquisition speed (frame/sec)||4||30||30|
|Traditional Z-stack scanning time for a volume of 400 x 200 x 100 µm (XYZ), 0.5 µm steps (sec)||50||6.67||6.67|
|Volumetric scanning time of a volume of 400 x 200 x 100 µm (XYZ) with Bliq Photonics’ AXICON (sec)||0.25||0.033||0.033|
Specifications – AXICON
|Light sources||Wavelengths||Visible : 425 to 675 nm|
|IR : 800 to 1300 nm (compatible with femto-second pulsed laser)|
|Depth of field||Enhancement||Up to 100 µm|
|Inside the VMS||Frame rate||30 volumes of 400 x 200 x 100 µm per second at 1 024 x 512|
|480 volumes of 400 x 12.5 x 100 µm per second at 1 024 x 32|
|As an upgrade||Compatibility||Laser-scanning confocal and multiphoton systems|
|Upgrade of commercial and custom-made systems|
|Frame rate||Scanning speed unaffected (same as without Axicon)|
|Converts XY scanning into XYZ volume scanning|
|Field of view||Field of view unaffected (same as without Axicon)|
|Bypass||Manual or automatic|
Extended two-photon microscopy in live samples with Bessel beams: steadier focus, faster volume scans, and simpler stereoscopic imaging. Thériault G, Cottet M, Castonguay A, McCarthy N, De Koninck Y. (2014) Frontiers Cell Neurosci. Vol 8, No 139. (PubMed).
Extended depth of field microscopy for rapid volumetric two-photon imaging. (2013) Thériault G, De Koninck Y, McCarthy N. Opt Express. Vol 21, No 8. (PubMed).