The Zeiss LSM 880 confocal with Airyscan is the newest addition for advanced imaging capabilities in our facility.  Located at Wake Downtown, the LSM 880 can be found in Room 2808.




The LSM 880 is approximately two times more sensitive than the LSM 710, utilizing GaAsP detectors instead of traditional PMTs. This allows creation of high resolution and high contrast 3D images even in conditions of low fluorescent signal. The LSM 880 confocal microscope offers 32 spectral channels, and can simultaneously image and separate up to 10 distinct fluorophores. Additionally, the LSM 880 has a 32 hexagonal detector array termed an “Airyscan”. The Airyscan detector array spatially distributes emitted light, dissociating in focus and scattered light, and then performs several mathematical transformations on the image data including deconvolution. The resultant Airyscan processed image provides up to a 1.7X improvement in resolution beyond traditional image capture capabilities along with an 8X improvement in signal-to-noise ratio.


Fast, High Resolution Imaging– The LSM 880 is equipped with the Airyscan Fast module.  This allows gentle imaging at 4x the normal LSM speed, with improved resolution and signal-to-noise ratio compared to resonant scanning systems.  This feature is perfect for many applications that would normally require a spinning disc confocal microscope.

Base Microscope– The 880 confocal scan head is coupled to the AxioObserver Z1 inverted microscope. This inverted microscope platform provides versatility for live and fixed slide, well-plate, and dish imaging applications. The Z1 is a fully motorized microscope, allowing software control of objectives; fluorescent cubes; transmitted, epi-fluorescent, and laser illumination; Z-position, and X/Y on the stage.

Laser Lines– 405nm, 458nm, 488nm, 514nm, 561nm, 633nm




The AxioObserver Z1 is equipped with three fluorescent filter cubes, Zeiss sets 49 (blue), 38 (green), and 63 (red) which allow viewing of your sample through the microscope. Full details about these Zeiss filter sets are available here. The microscope is outfitted with a range of dry and immersion objectives, all with high numerical apertures and specifically designed for confocal imaging.

Objective NA Working Distance (mm)
Plan-Apo 10X 0.45 2
Plan-Apo 20X 0.8 0.55
Plan-Apo 40X 0.95 0.25
LD C-Apo 40X/W 1.1 0.62
C-Apo 63X/W 1.2 0.28
Plan-Apo 63X/Oil DIC 1.4 0.19

Live cell experiments– A full live-cell incubation system is also available. This includes a temperable stage (temperable insert P S1), capable of heating or cooling slides or dishes, modules to control temperature, carbon dioxide and humidity (Temp Module S1, CO2 module S1, O2 module S1, and heating device humidity S1),an enclosure to maintain the environment (Incubator PM S1) and a temperable objective ring.  Additionally, a Definite Focus 2 module is available to maintain precise Z-position, a feature particularly useful during longer duration time-lapse imaging experiments.

Imaging- Image acquisition and analysis for the LSM 880 is controlled using Zen Black software. Some features include: multichannel, z-stack, time lapse, autofocus, tiles/positions, colocalization, and spectral unmixing.



Example Images from LSM880

Left: Lateral Root Emergence {Gayomba Postdoc} 

Center: S. pombe (yeast) cell walls {Huckabee BS’19}

Right: ROS signaling in root tip {Sarkel BS’18}