Next-gen objectives for life science microscopy

6th June 2019

Olympus has advanced imaging quality with the launch of its next-generation objectives. The polishing technique enables the company to produce ultra-thin lenses that overcome the traditional trade-off between numerical aperture (NA), flatness and chromatic correction ­- enabling all three parameters to be significantly improved. Olympus has harnessed this technology to deliver high-performance X Line objectives for clinical and research applications as well as UPLAPO-HR objectives, the first plan-corrected apochromat objectives with a NA of 1.5 for total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and super resolution applications. The new objectives will deliver improvements to a plethora of research and clinical applications without the need to change or upgrade imaging systems.

Traditional lenses force manufacturers to choose to optimise either image flatness or chromic aberration or the NA, which contributes to bright and high-resolution images. X Line objectives negate this trade-off; delivering excellent image quality where each of these three pillars of quality is as solid as the others. The resulting high and uniform image quality across the entire field of view (FOV) benefits accurate diagnoses, large FOV imaging, multicolour imaging, image stitching and quantitative image analysis.

The quality of objectives rests mainly on three pillars: numerical aperture, chromatic aberration correction and flatness. NA describes a lens's ability to capture light, meaning that high-NA lenses yield higher resolution and require shorter exposure times, minimising phototoxicity. The ultra-thin lenses at the core of X Line objectives produce NAs up to 1.45 ­- a value normally found only in specialised objectives. X Line objectives are able to combine these high NAs with a leading chromatic aberration correction range of 400­1000 nm and excellent image flatness. Chromatic correction prevents wavelength-dependent shifting of colours along the X, Y and Z axis, enabling colour accuracy, high-precision multicolour colocalisation and measurement. Image flatness ensures that the whole field of view is in focus - benefiting all users, but in particular those that use image stitching and quantitative image analysis.

Users of both high-end and low-end microscopy systems can easily boost the image quality of their microscopy system by switching to X Line. Ensuring broad compatibility with different systems, X Line objectives provide these benefits without changing the mount or parfocalizing distance, making it easy to upgrade this easily overlooked part of a microscope.





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