Microscopy Systems

Re-scan Confocal Microscopy (RCM)

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Confocal.nl is aiming to innovate the microscopy industry with our plug-and-play feature confocal microscopes including the re-scan invention (Re-scan Confocal Microscope). Their new RCM-microscope has an improved resolution and strongly improved sensitivity as compared to most confocal microscopes. It is available as a highly affordable, customised device, which is ideal for labs with specific interests, or as an upgrade for existing wide-field fluorescence microscopes. Confocal.nl's goal is an open-architecture system that can be customised at need, and is platform- and software independent.

Website: http://www.confocal.nl

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Re-scan Confocal Microscopy (RCM)

 
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Re-scan Confocal Microscopy (RCM) is a new super-resolution technique based on standard confocal microscopy extended with an optical (re-scanning) unit that projects the image directly on a EMCCD or sCMOS camera. This new microscope has improved lateral resolution (170 nm at 488 nm light), and strongly improved sensitivity, while maintaining the sectioning capability of a standard confocal microscope. This technology is useful for biological applications, where the combination of high-resolution and high-sensitivity is required (but not very high imaging speed).

During scanning, re-scan mirrors (SM2) move faster than the first scan mirrors (SM1), which magnifies the image on the camera chip compared to the sample, and eventually results in the higher resolution of the image. The resolution of the system can be improved with the re-scan step by a factor of 2 (i.e. 1.41 times), compared to Abbe’s resolution limit by changing the angular amplitude of the re-scanner (SM2). Reduction of pinhole is no longer necessary to increase resolution – in fact, closing down the pinhole will only limit the amount of light passing through, and increase the signal to noise ratio due to weaker signal. Since the re-scan is purely optical method, and no further image processing is required, there is also no time cost of improving the resolution.

  • Improved Lateral Resolution of 170nm
  • Better Signal to Noise Ratio and High QE
  • Open System Architecture
  • Deeper Confocal Z-Sectioning
  • High Sensitivity and Low Noise
  • Affordable Budget
 



To fully understand the principle of rescanning, resolution improvement and the optical layout of the RCM, please watch the video below that explains the components and the light path of the RCM. Additional technical details and test images can be found in De Luca et al (2013).



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Exposure time: 4s, clearing showing the fibers of width around 200nm, which cannot be shown clearly in confocal microscope with a resolution of 240nm.



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