Monolithic Laser Combiner System for Confocal and Fluorescence Microscopy

Agilent Technologies Inc., (NYSE: A) today introduced its monolithic laser combiner system for confocal and fluorescence microscopy applications. The MLC400 monolithic laser combiner brings Agilent's patented complex monolithic optic (CMO) design technology and proprietary fiber coupling capability into a complete laser illumination solution. The integrated lasers and optics are permanently aligned offering customers optical system stability and ease-of-use. As a result, researchers are able to spend more time doing scientific experimentation and less time maintaining their illumination optics.

"Designed to meet cell biologists' growing interest in confocal and fluorescence microscopy and their desire to work without fine-tuning their instruments on a frequent basis, the Agilent MLC400 monolithic laser combiner is a fully integrated, permanently aligned, turn-key instrument," said Bill Volk, Agilent general manager, Nano Positioning Metrology Division. "The monolithic design builds on our expertise in developing extremely reliable optical systems for aerospace, defense and semiconductor applications. The result is an easy-to-use laser illumination system for microscopy that installs in just a few minutes and never requires adjustment to maintain optimal power and alignment."

With optics bonded in a CMO, the MLC400 monolithic laser combiner delivers stable optical power with superior performance and productivity. Other solutions require the user to make frequent adjustments to many individual optic mounts and lasers to maintain alignment. In the Agilent CMO design, the factory-aligned optical structure will not drift out of alignment due to environmental factors such as temperature changes, vibration or over time. This is a key factor in maintaining stable laser throughput.

Agilent's MLC400 monolithic laser combiner is ideal for confocal and fluorescence microscopy applications including, total-internal-reflection fluorescence (TIRF), fluorescence resonant-energy transfer (FRET), fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM), fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and photo-activated localization microscopy (PALM). The MLC400 is compatible with all major confocal and fluorescence microscope systems. Shipments will begin in the first quarter of calendar 2010.

The standard MLC400 monolithic laser combiner is configured with DPSS and diode lasers at 405nm, 488nm, 561nm, 640nm and an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF). A pass-through option allows users to couple alternate laser sources such as argon ion with the system. As research needs change, the instrument can be upgraded to add or change wavelength channels.

Agilent will showcase the MLC400 monolithic laser combiner in Booth #506 during ASCB Dec. 6-8, 2009, at the San Diego Convention Center. Agilent will also discuss the Next Generation in Laser-based Illumination Sources for confocal and florescence microscopy at the Exhibitor Showcase on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7 a.m. in Room 11 of the San Diego Convention Center.

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