Quality Magazine

ZEISS Microscopes Used to Create Images for Art Exhibit at Midway Airport

March 10, 2014
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An art exhibit at Chicago's Midway Airport features images created by usingmicroscopy equipment by ZEISS. Researchers from theInstitute for Genomic Biology (IGB) Core Facilities, affiliated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, used state-of-the-art microscopes for pioneering research to capture images that address significant problems facing humanity related to health, agriculture, energy and the environment. Twelvedifferent images from IGB's innovative research have been turned into pieces of artwork that travelers can view while using the airport. Five of the images in the exhibit were produced using ZEISS equipment.

One of the pieces of art is an image of proteins in cancer cells taken with the ZEISS LSM 710 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope, which defines new standards for sensitivity and flexibility in examining fluorescent biological specimens.The illumination and detection design provides new possibilities in research conducted with living multi-labeled cells.The LSM 710 confocal microscope hasincreased sensitivity, a higher signal-to-noise ratio, improved flexibility for new fluorescence dyes and multimodal experiments, as well as new multiphoton detectors, which allow for deeper optical penetration into biological structures.

A 3D fast Fourier transformation of a cell image was taken with the ZEISS ELYRA S.1 superresolution structured illumination system, which images fluorophores with up to twice the resolution of a conventional light microscope. Superresolution microscopy enables fluorescence imaging of structures too small for traditional methods, such as deconvolution and confocal microscopy.

A Micro-Drill Tool Tipis another image turned into art and was taken using the ZEISS LSM 700 confocal microscope. This confocal laser scanning microscope has a compact design and performs fluorescence measurements, creates optical sections of samples, and combines them into 3D image stacks. ZEN imaging software shortens the training period and stores the settings for all users.

An image of the Birefringence of Glucose Monohydrate was taken with the ZEISS Axiovert.A1 200M This model has been replaced with the ZEISS Axio Observer, an inverted microscope with extensive performance capabilities. Highly configurable, this microscope has a variety of excitation and detector options and can be upgraded with high speed, confocal and superresolution. The ZEISS Axio Observer is equipped with environmental controls, for long term, gentle imaging of living samples.

The final piece of art was created using the ZEISS LSM 710 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope. IGB researchers used it to take an image of a 3D cleared and tiled Miscanthus. The prerequisite for every demanding application in laser scanning microscopy is enhanced sensitivity and reduced background noise. The ZEISS LSM 710 suppresses noise from excitation laser light to deliver class leading signal to noise, even with tricky preparations, such as those with dense 3D tissue or cells growing directly on metallic substrates.