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Built by your needs: Olympus introduces the new BX3 Research Microscope Systems

Olympus have recently previewed the new BX3 upright research microscope systems, which deliver unmatched adaptability at all levels. Following on from the highly successful BX2 range, the BX3 microscope systems provide users with a “blank canvas” to fully define their own working environment: from the microscope and imaging components to software workflows, GUIs and the positioning of the controls on the desktop. The manual BX53 frame offers complete system flexibility with optional coded and automated modules. The Olympus BX63 frame provides advanced automation as standard. As a result, the Olympus BX3 microscope systems combine perfectly with imaging modules, cameras and the cellSens software programmes to enable users to build a microscope system intimately designed to their specific needs.

Olmpus BX3 Research Microscope

With a host of peerless features, the Olympus BX3 range provides researchers with the perfect microscope system, whatever their requirements:

Ultimate flexibility

The Olympus BX63 has been developed with a unique, personalisible control concept, providing the user with multiple options for managing the entire microscopy and imaging process. At the forefront of this concept is the programmable touchpanel control that greatly simplifies observation and imaging tasks, and can be placed wherever the user would like. It controls all of the components of the imaging system, enabling users to change the objective, mirror unit and observation method, as well as navigate and focus the sample. In addition to the touchscreen control, the BX63 can also be fitted with a detachable remote control providing the effect of traditional mechanical knobs for adjusting focus (Z) and stage position (X, Y). Furthermore,  the unit also features buttons for changing between observation methods, objectives and mirror units, as well as for adjusting light intensity. The X, Y stage control can be fixed on either side of, or even separated from, the main control unit, providing absolute user preference for placement. As a result,  the microscope matches the user’s working style and not vice versa.
The BX63 control concept doesn’t just provide control over the motorised components; it also automates many of the optical adjustments required for changing between contrast methods. This contrast management automates the condenser position, top lens, aperture stop, field stop, polariser, fluorescence shutter, mirror turret position and light intensity according to the respective objective and contrast method selected by the user.  These automation steps ensure maximum efficiency and ease of use.

Ambidextrous

The Olympus BX3 research microscope systems introduce a new level of flexibility for users, putting them in command of where to place controls. For example on the BX53, the transmitted attenuation filters and fluorescence shutters can be operated from either side of the frame, which also features the centrally-positioned illumination-intensity control dial. The ergonomic fine-focus adjustment handle can be placed on the left or the right to match the position of the stage handle, which also is available in left- or right-handed configurations. If the microscope is fitted with an Olympus digital camera, the optical path switch can be attached on both sides of the ergonomic tilting tube. For the ultimate in documentation convenience, a remote exposure button is available, which can be placed freely.  As a result, users maintain full control over their workspace, consequently improving workflow efficiency as everything is exactly where they want it.

Illumination

As well as the standard halogen light source, the Olympus BX63 can be fitted with a novel true-colour LED system. This provides a colour-rendering index matching that of a halogen bulb with a daylight filter, due to its unique wavelength profile. This makes it ideal for high colour clarity across the entire range of brightfield stains, which is not possible with standard LED illumination systems. Apart from the unique colour-rendering features, users also benefit from excellent life spans (approximately 20,000 hours) and the low power consumption of the true-colour LED system providing exceptionally low running costs and reduced downtime.

Fluorescence champion

Olympus has introduced a new fluorescence illumination concept based around the unique fly-eye lens system, which provides unmatched homogeneity for fluorescence illumination, ensuring even illumination across the entire field of view, whatever the wavelength. This, coupled with high transmission and minimal auto-fluorescence along the entire optical pathway, ensures the BX3 microscopes are the perfect platform for fluorescence microscopy. In addition, the new 8-position filter turret not only provides the capacity for even the most comprehensive multi-colour fluorescence studies, but also offers fast, tool-free mirror cube exchange. The cubes themselves are designed to maximise the S/N ratio by capturing > 99% of stray light and using advanced multi-layer filters with steep cut-offs for highly defined wavelength selection. The signal-to-noise ratio is further improved through the use of Olympus’ low auto-fluorescence immersion oil.
With the capability to use mercury or xenon arc burners, highly stabilised EXFO X-Cite arc-burners, as well as  CoolLED fluorescence excitation, users have an extensive choice for their fluorescence illumination.

Automation

The Olympus BX53 enables users to build a system that suits their needs. The optional coded nosepiece and mirror turret modules enable the automatic recording and sharing of microscope magnification and setting information for comparing, measuring and scaling images. An extensive range of motorisation components are also available for the BX53, including nosepiece, mirror turret, universal condenser, ND filter wheel and stage, enabling it to be precisely matched to the needs of the user and provide similar contrast management capabilities to the BX63. The BX63 is completely motorised and is focused uniquely via the nosepiece rather than stage, which enables the stage to be fixed making it more stable. The motorised stage is also new and is driven by advanced, high-precision, ultrasonic Piezo technology, providing silent, smooth and extremely precise operation. The stage can even be positioned by hand, enabling rapid gross sample alignment, while highly accurate encoders continuously readout the X,Y position. The excellent encoding enables the user to set precise coordinates and navigate directly to them at high speed.

Control and coordination

The true power of a motorised Olympus BX3 microscope comes to the fore when using the cellSens software to control complex imaging processes such as multiple image alignment (MIA), multi-position or Z-stack acquisition. The fully customisable control concept of the Olympus BX3 microscope systems continues seamlessly with the cellSens software, with personalisible tool placement and user-definable workflows. The cellSens software family is also perfectly placed to provide all the tools required to power your ideal system, whatever that may be.

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