Nikon Metrology / Download / CELLOGY


Key Words: phototoxicity, time-lapse imaging, AOTF, illumination, AOM, spectral imaging, CLEM, focus, Live cell imaging; cell culture, Noise Terminator

Definition:Cellogy is a term adopted by Nikon to describe their approach to the science of caring for, and getting the very best results from, living cells during imaging


A variety of technologies are involved in cellogy, from in-incubator microscope monitoring, to technologies that reduce exposure to potentially damaging light sources during imaging, and those that create ideal cell-imaging environments on the microscope.

In-incubator imaging: Nikon's BioStation in-incubator cell culture imaging systems allow researchers to monitor their cells and conduct time-lapse studies (at anytime and from anywhere) without the need to remove cultures from their ideal growth environment. Avoiding the risk of contamination and physical stress during transfer, cells grown and monitored in the Biostation are constantly maintained in the ideal environment for consistent, stress-free growth. Biostation provides the ideal environment for long-term time-lapse imaging and offers remote operation and image viewing over the Internetor an intranet.

Reduced exposure to light: One of the limiting factors in fluorescence imaging, especially in time lapse studies, is that exposure to strong light sources can damage cells during imaging. A number of Nikon technologies provide the means to reduce light exposure while maintaining sufficient signal for high quality fluorescence imaging. The C1si confocal system, for example, captures images over a broad wavelength range with just one single laser excitation. Lambda scanning experiments are not necessary. Nikon's CLEM technology reduces light exposure by determining the illumination required for imaging on a per pixel basis (i.e. when and where required). A number of other technologies allow excitation light to be modulated and easily controlled to minimize light exposure, such as the intensilight mercury-fiber illuminator and AOM, AOTF for laser systems. Nikon also ensure that light returning from a specimen is maximized, thus enabling excitation light to be reduced. High sensitivity detectors offer up to 90% quantum efficiency (e.g. in Nikon's LiveScan Sweptfield confocal) and technology such as Noise Terminator ensure high signal-to-noise ratios.

Creating ideal conditions for cell imaging. A number of on-microscope incubator chambers and heated stages are available to provide ideal-cell conditions during imaging. Nikon microscopes themselves, in addition, are design to provide vibration-free conditions that will obtain the best possible results from any imaging study. Technologies such as the Ti-PFS (Perfect Focus System) ensure that that cell images are not lost during automated imaging because of loss of focus resulting from cell movement, the addition of reagents, or other factors.


The ethos of cellogy is central to obtaining the best possible results from any live cell imaging study. Optimum cell care is especially important in circumstances such as IVF-associated imaging, developmental biology, stem cell and genetics applications where stress may result in unwanted epigenetic changes in cells, and in long-term time lapse studies.


A number of combinations of microscopes and associated technologies may be used to provide the best possible conditions for live cell imaging. Key technologies include; Biostation, C1si confocal systems, LiveScan sweptfield confocal system, TiPFS, CLEM and Intensilight.


Please consult your local Nikon representative for advice on the imaging systems best suited to you imaging applications.


Maintaining live cells on the microscope stage

Introduction to live cell imaging techniques

Culture chambers for live cell imaging

Optical systems and detector requirements for live cell imaging

Imaging and perfusion chamber resources

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