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News

Olympus offers fully cooled LED light source for fluorescence microscopy

Olympus America : 07 December, 2007  (New Product)
Olympus has become first US-based microscopy company to offer the benefits of a fully cooled light emitting diode (LED) light source for fluorescence microscopy.
The precisExcite light source, made by CoolLED of the UK, uses state-of-the-art LED technology. The light the source provides is stable, completely controllable, and thermally cooled, making it ideal for such Microscopy applications as live cell imaging, photobleaching, fast switching, multiple probe staining, and time-lapse imaging. Because there is no electromagnetic interference at the microscope, the system is also a good choice for electrophysiology experiments.

In contrast to traditional arc sources used for fluorescence microscopy, precisExcite uses LEDs for stability and long lifetimes (>10,000 hours). With narrow spectral profiles at each wavelength and precise control of intensity in one percent increments, specimens are protected from overexposure at the undesired wavelengths and high intensities typical of wide spectrum sources. The system can be configured using LEDs with peak wavelengths at 400, 445, 465, 505, 525, 595, and 635nm wavelengths. Additional wavelengths are coming in 2008.

Only recently have engineers developed LED arrays with sufficient light output to make them practical for fluorescence Microscopy applications. The precisExcite system is thought to be the only LED light source commercially available in the USA that efficiently cools the LEDs. The maximum efficiency of all LEDs is in the 15-30 percent range, and as such, their primary product is heat. By controlled cooling of the LEDs, it is possible to achieve greater stability and excite the fluorophores for longer periods. The new light source uses active cooling so LED arrays are always at the correct operating temperature when in use.

In contrast, as the temperature of a non-cooled LED rises, its efficiency is diminished, causing even more heat in the junction. This heating can result in reduced intensity and a shift in peak wavelength that can have a substantial impact on fluorophore excitation. Increased heat can also reduce an LED’s operating life.

In addition, precisExcite is designed to offer greater intensity in the green region of the spectrum where other LED systems traditionally have been weak.
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