Rapid widefield optical sectioning

Tell us more about your application

Image courtesy of Dr. Steve Lacroix, CHUL Research Center, Université Laval

Easy to use

How does it work ?

Based on patented HiLo technology, SPARQ rapidly removes out-of-focus elements using two differently illuminated images that are mathematically processed. SPARQ utilizes/leverages the structure inherent to the speckle that naturally occurs when illuminating with coherent light to achieve high quality structured illumination based optical sectioning.

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Speckles edit 2 (1) edit (3)
Sparq illumination
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Greater performance

Get confocal-like imaging without paying the confocal-like price

SPARQ technology cost-effectively improves the resolution and optical sectioning of new or existing widefield microscopes on-par with scanning or spinning disk microscopy.

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Maximum intensity projections of a mouse spinal cord imaged with SPARQ (left) and confocal (right). P2Y12R/Green (Neurons), CVxCR1/Red (Microglia). Image courtesy of Dr. Steve Lacroix, CHUL Research Center, Université Laval.

Rapid and versatile

Use SPARQ for a broad range of applications: cleared, fixed and live cell/tissue imaging

SPARQ is an optional imaging mode for Bliq’s VMS and can easily be added to any upright or inverted micro or macroscope. Imaging at frame rates of up to 10 FPS, SPARQ is a camera based optical sectioning technology that can be used to quickly acquire large FOV images.

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Single plane of a whole adult cleared mouse brain using a macroscope. TH-Alexa594 (Dopaminergic neurons).

High quality

Further increase the resolution of your SPARQ images using SRRF

Computational approach to super-resolution microscopy: Super-Resolution Radial Fluctuations (SRRF) Imaging, developed by the laboratory of Dr. Ricardo Henriques at the University College London can beautifully increase lateral resolution of SPARQ images.

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Mouse spinal cord section, GFAP (Astrocytes). Courtesy of Dr. Graham Dellaire, Dalhousie University.

Compact design

Upgrade your current widefield microscope with SPARQ effortlessly

SPARQ can easily be coupled to most fluorescence illuminators and doesn’t require any alignment. With its small size, SPARQ is discrete and fits well even on microscopes installed in restricted space. Just fix it and start acquiring optically sectioned images!

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SPARQ provides additional information from images acquired using widefield illumination.

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Fixed cell imaging

- Multi-channel acquisitionSPARQ can be used with any fluorophore

Live cell imaging

- Low laser intensity (comparable to standard widefield illumination)Reduces photobleaching and phototoxity, allowing for long imaging sessions
- Fast 2D and 3D imaging With a frame rate of up to 10 FPS, catch your dynamic proccesses using SPARQ
- Multi-dimensional acquisition: Time lapse, z-stacks, multi-channelsSet your usual multi-dimensional experiments and turn on SPARQ for optically sectioned images
- Combinaison with transmitted light constrat methodsCombine your SPARQ images with any contrast modes, without even changing objectives

Tissue slice imaging

- High penetration depthSince the speckles remain sharp in depth, get the same optical sectioning capabilities as you go deeper
- Modification of optical thickness Adjust SPARQ's thickness factor parameter to change the axial resolution without affecting the lateral resolution
- 3D imaging and reconstructionCreate high quality 3D images by rejecting out-of-focus fluorescence

Whole mount and cleared tissue imaging

- Large area stitchingKeep the same imaging speed regardless of the field of view. SPARQ works with any camera
- Use different objective magnifications Simply change objectives without the need to re-calibrate or to modify the SPARQ parameter
- Works with any kind of objectivesUse high N.A, LWD or phase contrast objectives. It will not affect the SPARQ images
- Keep high axial and lateral resolutionImprove the optical sectioning without sacrificing the lateral resolution as with standard confocal microscopy

In vivo imaging (on 2P)

- Can be used in combinaison with photo-stimulationUse the same visible lasers to photo-stimulate and do SPARQ imaging (different light paths)
- Offers optical sectioning with visible lasers on a 2P optimized systemIncrease the flexibilty of your 2P system by adding SPARQ and get visible light confocality
- Can be used in vivo for positioning and other fluorescence usesA one push button allows you to easily switch between SPARQ and other imaging modes