EVOS™ Imaging Systems – Perform complex imaging applications without expertise in microscopy.
During my PhD, I generally found fluorescence imaging a daunting and somewhat complex task. I would spend weeks generating an array of plasmids with the promoter of my genes of interest inserted just upstream of a GFP gene. Following successful transfection, I would carefully bring my cells down to the dark room. There began the hours of staring blurry-eyed through binocular eyepieces, playing around with the computer settings, camera and filters, waiting for mercury bulbs to warm up and wondering “who was messing with the aperture focusing knobs again?” If I had an EVOS™ FL Imaging System back then, life would have been significantly easier.
The EVOS™ Imaging Systems from Invitrogen™ are digital inverted microscopes designed from the ground up to allow researchers to focus on their data rather than worrying about the operation of a microscope. From basic cell culture to complex protein analysis and automated multi-channel fluorescence imaging, EVOS™ imaging systems help you perform a variety of routine and specialty applications.
Their proprietary LED light cube technology is designed to minimize photo-bleaching, offers >50,000 hours of LED illumination, and allows adjustable intensity—with no darkroom and no consumable costs. EVOS™ systems are designed to work together—from the initial cell culture check (for viability and morphology) to more complex analyses such as time lapse and image tiling and stitching. An EVOS™ system will allow you to spend more time analysing images—and less time trying to capture images.
Advantages of the EVOS™ over traditional microscopes
The first advantage of EVOS™ Systems over traditional microscopes is they have an LCD screen rather than binoculars or a single ocular to view your images. What that means is, if you wear glasses you don’t have to remove them and focus in on the oculars. You can approach the microscope with other people nearby and they can all look at the same exact image that you are seeing. The LCD screen is foldable 90 degrees backwards allowing easy insertion into a hood. It also tilts forward for ease of viewing from a seated position.
The second advantage is; it is a wide field microscope that uses LED technology. When working with fluorescence, you no longer have to deal with a mercury lamp as the LED Light Cubes allow you to access the system any time you want. You can turn it on and off 100 times a day if you forget to take an image or if you have another experiment to do. To paraphrase Prof. Peter Drain from the University of Pittsburgh, the EVOS™ Systems are built for easy accessibility and somewhat humanise the microscope, rather than forcing the user to think like a microscope in order to use them.
By placing the LED light cube as close as possible to the objective turret, the number of optical elements in the light path is minimised. High-intensity illumination over a short light path increases the efficiency of fluorophore excitation, providing better detection of weak fluorescent signals. Mercury arc lamps can decrease in intensity by 50% in the first 100 hours of operation—plus, images acquired in different sessions cannot be quantitatively compared using mercury illumination without complicated calibrations. Because EVOS systems have continuous light cube intensity, users can rely on consistent illumination and can compare results quantitatively from images acquired on different days.
The all in one approach allows you to move it around. In the course of a day, you can move it back and forth, it is relatively light weight, compact, with nothing hanging out of it so if you’re tight on space, you can put it on a bench top or in a tissue culture hood and carry out bright field imaging, and even fluorescent imaging in a bright room.
Modularity is an important feature of these systems, especially with the fluorescent EVOS™ FL and EVOS™ FL Auto models. This modularity allows you to fully customise the system to your current requirements and allows easy upgrades at a later stage should a project require it. You can choose from a wide range of LED light cubes, 2.5x to 100x oil immersion objectives and numerous vessel holders.
Feedback from customers
Over the past few years I have discussed the EVOS™ Imaging Systems with numerous customers at conferences, demos and during system installs. I have found they are amazed with the ease of use and little training that is required to use these systems. Whether they are doing cell culture & routine cell maintenance, stem cell work or more advanced colourimetric assays, multichannel fluorescence imaging & transfections and a variety of advanced automated applications, once the system is in front of them they are always impressed. Each year, we are seeing the number of users in Ireland grow exponentially as more and more people become aware of these innovative systems. With the increasing number of citations coming out each year using these systems, we hope to see more and more people adopting the EVOS™ Systems in their labs.
Experiencing the new EVOS™ FL Auto 2
Thermo Fisher recently launched the new Invitrogen EVOS™ FL Auto 2 Imaging System. I had the pleasure of getting early access to it when I was over at their training facility in Darmstadt, Germany earlier this year.
From the outset, it was clearly a new system in both form and function, improving on the best features of the original. The new software was built from scratch and it was remarkably easier to use, faster and more streamlined than the original. They have revised the user interface concentrating on workflow, which can be tailored to the sample and data required for experiment.
The optical path has been redesigned and you have camera choice for higher image quality. In addition to the dual colour and monochrome cameras, they introduced a high end camera for specific requirements. The enhanced scan speed and autofocus functions for improved throughput and data quality was definitely noticeable and a great improvement from the first model. You can now define a scan area in low magnification and acquire images at higher magnification.
Simultaneous acquisition in four fluorescence channels and transmitted light is a new feature allowing you to rapidly capture and analyse higher-quality images and scan up to four fluorescence colours and transmitted light. With the onstage incubator, you can easily mimic precise biological conditions and take time-lapse 4 colour fluorescent and transmitted light images, z-stacking of a slide, section, or even cells in each well of a 96-well plate. With the EVOS™ FL Auto 2, you don’t need to be an expert in imaging to perform complex imaging applications.
In addition to the system software, they have introduced the integration of optional Micro Studio™ Image Analysis Software application for automated measuring cell features. With all-in-one image and data analysis and visualisation, you can easily collect cell, field, and plate/slide/flask level data for quantitative analysis. Quickly generate cell counts and intensity, area, and shape measurements using the EVOS FL Auto 2 Imaging System.
Go on, give it a go yourself!!
To find out more about EVOS™ Imaging Systems, simply click on the link here. Go on, get in touch today and try it for yourself :-)
EVOS Product Specialist