A mercury arc lamp-based multi-color confocal real time imaging system for cellular structure and function. Academic Article uri icon


  • Multi-point scanning confocal microscopy using a Nipkow disk enables the acquisition of fluorescent images with high spatial and temporal resolutions. Like other single-point scanning confocal systems that use Galvano meter mirrors, a commercially available Nipkow spinning disk confocal unit, Yokogawa CSU10, requires lasers as the excitation light source. The choice of fluorescent dyes is strongly restricted, however, because only a limited number of laser lines can be introduced into a single confocal system. To overcome this problem, we developed an illumination system in which light from a mercury arc lamp is scrambled to make homogeneous light by passing it through a multi-mode optical fiber. This illumination system provides incoherent light with continuous wavelengths, enabling the observation of a wide range of fluorophores. Using this optical system, we demonstrate both the high-speed imaging (up to 100 Hz) of intracellular Ca(2+) propagation, and the multi-color imaging of Ca(2+) and PKC-gamma dynamics in living cells.

publication date

  • 2008