"A first in electronic, motorised, integrated transgenic platforms"

1st April 2013

High-precision optics and micro-tools are making manipulation on a tiny scale possible. But to simplify their task, laboratory scientists have long been demanding an automated tool that integrates microscopes with micromanipulators. A new transgenic platform aims to meet these needs.

Live cell microscopy applications are some of the most rapidly developing areas in microscopy. Advances in microscope technology, contrasting techniques and micromanipulators now enable experiments that were considered impossible even a short time ago.

High-precision optics and micro-tools permit manipulation almost on a molecular scale. In order to make the work more efficient and reproducible, scientists are demanding system integration, where microscopes harmonise perfectly with attachments like micromanipulators.

Furthermore, electronics, automation, ergonomics and time saving are additional requirements.

Leica Microsystems has met these demands with the design and introduction of the new Leica AS TP transgenic workstation.

Microinjection technology

Launched at the Amercican Society for Cell Biology in Washington DC, the new workstation is described by Leica Microsystems as a breakthrough in microinjection technology.

It is the result of a joint effort between Leica Microsystems and Eppendorf, the Hamburg-based manufacturer of electric micromanipulators and injectors.

Together, their aim was to create the first truly integrated electronic, motorised system for microinjection and transgenic research. The system combines the operation of both microscope and micromanipulators into one user-oriented control unit.

Novel features

Among the novel features of the AS TP are: u A system to combine the operation of a fully automated research microscope and an electronic micromanipulation system under the control of a single, user-oriented control unit.

The combination of Leica Microsystems' DM IRE2 automated inverted research microscope and Eppendorf's state-of-the-art electronic micromanipulators goes beyond simple integration to create atrue instrument intelligence' known as magnification correlated setting (MCS).

MCS insures that each time the magnification is changed all other related parameters are automatically optimised.

The sensitivity and speed of the micromanipulators, the speed of stage motion, the sensitivity of the image focus and the illumination intensity are always coordinated to achieve the best possible result with virtually no intervention from the user and without the user having to take their eyes away from the specimen.

Decreased set-up time

MCS enhances specimen safety, reduces vibration and significantly decreases instrument set-up time. u The Leica AS TP was designed with multiple users in mind. Up to four users can designate and preset the very flexible micromanipulator system with their specific preferences.

Each user is designated by a unique user name. All one needs to do to continue their individual experiment and recapture their specific settings is select their name from the menu.

The AS TP automatically resumes the user's particular working parameters. u As a result of MCS and the ease of operation associated with the electronically controlled micromanipulators there is a very short learning curve associated with the


In contrast to mechanical systems, which require the development of a certain skill level, the AS TP accommodates the occasional user as easily as it does the advanced user.

The Leica AS TP has many other features and offers many motorised functions including a motorised magnification changer for fast, vibration-free lens switching and a motorised video and camera port.

Application solution philosophy

"The new AS TP is the latest example of Leica Microsystems' aapplication solution' philosophy, which allows the application to dictate instrument design and the microscope to become a seamless part of the solution,“ Robert Wick, vice-president of sales and marketing for Leica Microsystems North America. "The AS TP has achieved this goal admirably and makes even difficult microinjection techniques easier and more comfortable than ever before,“ he concluded. u





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