What is Airyscan?!

In January, we added the LSM 880 confocal microscope to our facility.  Everyone has loved the extra sensitivity and the crisp images that they have been getting from the new system.  There is a feature that many don’t know about, though.  The Airyscan detector!

A new detector, how could that be exciting? The Airyscan is actually 32 individual hexagonal detectors that each act as a very small pinhole which increases resolution.  What is novel about the Airyscan is that the array can capture more than the traditional 1 airy unit, but the individual detectors determine spatially where the light came from.  The result is 1.7x increase in resolution and 4-8x increase in signal-to-noise ratio.

Justin Watkins of the Muday lab did a comparison of imaging tomato leaf stomata on the 710 v 880 v Airyscan.

Guard cells stained with DCF (green) and chlorophyll autofluorescence (magenta) by Justin Watkins


Have a sample that you don’t quite have the resolution to do analysis?  Struggling with background noise?  Bring us your sample and we would be happy to see if the Airyscan can help.