The Scientific Center for Optical and Electron Microscopy (ScopeM) is a central scientific technology platform of ETH Zurich providing resources and services in light and electron microscopy as well as direct access to state-of-the-art microscopy and sample preparation equipment. Specifically, ScopeM offers a wide range of advanced light microscopy techniques, super resolution and confocal. They have recently integrated the re-scan confocal module from Confocal.nl to their super resolution STORM microscope. With this combination, they have the possibility to perform a fast, high resolution confocal image followed by a super-resolution (based on localization microscopy) image on the same region of interest in a specimen.
Dr Dorothea Pinotsi is a staff scientist specialising in single-molecule, super resolution and spectroscopy applications. She describes their interest in applying confocal microscopy. “There is a wide range of life science projects where confocal microscopy is beneficial. We are an open, multi-user core facility which provides both high-end equipment and expertise. Our interest in the Re-scan Confocal Microscope (RCM) from Confocal.nl stemmed from the fact that it is a novel type of confocal microscope not only using a camera-based detection scheme, but also offering high resolution, together with high Signal to Noise ratio which is generally challenging especially in dim specimens. We heard about RCM through scientific publications as well as presence in conferences. We use many complementary microscopies wide-field fluorescence, TIRF, confocal point scanning and spinning disk, super-resolution microscopes such as: OMX (for Structured Illumination Microscopy) STED (Stimulated Emission Depletion Microscopy) and STORM (for Single-molecule Localization Microscopy). We also use correlative electron microscopy and fluorescence imaging platforms.”
Working with Confocal.nl was a positive experience for Dr Pinotsi. “As a “young’’ spin-off company, Confocal.nl is a dedicated team closely linked to academia. Communication was easily established. This has been beneficial not only for reporting of issues/problems or answering questions but also for exchanging suggestions and scientific ideas for experiments and possible product improvements. Before and during purchase, we were in direct contact with both the Confocal.nl team and Nikon Switzerland. The latter offered a solution for installing the RCM as part of the entire STORM system.”
Speaking about the installation in Zurich, Confocal.nl’s CEO, Peter Drent, says “We worked with the ScopeM team and Nikon Switzerland to configure this advanced super resolution system. ETH is a most prestigious research organisation and we are thrilled to have them select one of our pioneering, high sensitivity confocal systems.”