Light sheet imaging system optimized for resolution, speed, and flexibility for large samples

SmartSPIM is an advanced light sheet microscope capable of imaging large tissue samples with high speed and resolution. The system was designed from the ground up, with no limitation based on commercially available microscope bodies. The unique illumination arm of the SmartSPIM creates a flat-top illumination profile laterally, and a focused beam axially. To achieve homogeneous axial point spread functions (PSFz) across the entire FOV, the illumination optics scan the beam axially while synchronized to the camera’s rolling shutter detection.

SmartSPIM offers the following:

  • Ability to use custom and commercially available objective
  • Custom illumination optics Zemax designed and optimized for achromatic performance across all points in the sweeping field of view
  • Detection optics Zemax designed and optimized for all current large format objectives and camera sensors
  • Focus compensation for RI mismatches and chromatic focal shifts
  • Compatible with both aqueous and organic clearing methods
  • Simple, user friendly software interface
  • High speed acquisition: 20-40 minutes per channel per organ at single cell resolution, enabling the acquisition of dozens of datasets in a single week

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Chosen by top institutions

15x magnification SmartSPIM images of mouse brain tissue immunolabeled with GFAP and Beta Amyloid

Immunolabeled GFAP (cyan) and Beta-amyloid plaques (magenta) in a 5xFAD mouse brain model of AD

Images were acquired using the ASI 15X objective on SmartSPIM with 0.41 x 0.41 x 1 µm voxel size. A 100 µm MIP in the xy-plane (left) and a resliced 100 µm MIP in the xz-plane (right) from the same stack is shown, highlighting the nearly isotropic resolution. Sample courtesy of the Epp Lab at the University of Calgary.

c-FOS+ cells in intact mouse brain hemisphere

c-FOS expression is an indicator of recent neural cell activity, making the detection of c-FOS+ cells a high priority for many neuroscientists. This image stack captures the hippocampus and cortex in the sagittal plane of a mouse brain left hemisphere stained with anti-c-FOS. These images were acquired at 3.6X magnification and 4 µm z-step. 

See more videos of SmartSPIM datasets in our Video Gallery.

"Working with colleagues at LifeCanvas Technologies has opened an entirely new avenue of research for us. Our interest has focused on increasing the spatial resolution in magnetic resonance histology — microscopic imaging of the rodent brain, to allow studies of the mouse brain connectome. Using the clearing/light sheet with the Thy 1 mouse has yielded in the same specimen, diffusion tensor MRI images and the opportunity to validate specific motor pathways. Merging the two yields a sum that is far more than the individual parts. We see the light sheet data from our colleagues at LifeCanvas Technologies as a critical new complement to our MR methodologies. Our colleagues there have been more than helpful and we look forward to extended collaboration in the future."
G Allan Johnson, Ph.D.
Charles E Putman Professor of Radiology, Duke University School of Medicine

Ideally suited for a wide range of sample types and sizes

Custom designed imaging chamber and sample holders can accommodate tissues as small as organoids to those as big as an entire adult mouse brain. Due to the unique design of the sample holder, there are no points of contact between the tissue sample and the mounting hardware, thus allowing the user more freedom to mount a variety of sample types and sizes in different orientations.

Lectin (red) and Olf4 (green) in mouse intestine imaged in 3D
Retrogradely labeled motor cortical neurons using rabies virus expressing eGFP imaged at 10x

High speed imaging with uniform axial resolution

Tunable imaging parameters allow for high speed volumetric image capture while maintaining high quality resolution. A dynamic, axially swept light sheet is synchronized with the rolling shutter of the camera for confocal-like detection with high homogeneity of signal.

20 fps acquisition allows imaging of a mouse brain hemisphere in less than 30 minutes (at 1.8 µm x 1.8 µm x 4 µm voxel size), enabling the user to image 20 samples or more per week.

Custom. Flexible. Optimized.

The SmartSPIM system has been designed from the ground up with user customization and maximum flexibility in mind. From small samples in organic media, to large samples cleared by delipidation, SmartSPIM is the solution for your cleared tissue imaging needs.

Intuitive acquisition software makes imaging large samples a breeze. Streamlined for efficient data collection, the SmartSPIM software is simple to operate, allowing users to gather data within minutes of launch.

Adult mouse hemisphere imaging acquired with SmartSPIM (8x downsampled from original movie)

Entire hemisphere was stained in 1 day with SmartLabel using SYTO 16 green fluorescent nucleic acid stain and imaged using SmartSPIM with a custom LifeCanvas 3.6x objective. Acquisition time was less than 1 hour. The high and uniform axial resolution allows for clear delineation of cell bodies in XY and importantly in Z.

Specifications for SmartSPIM light sheet microscope
SmartSPIM images of neurons in 3 viewing planes

SmartSPIM image of fluorescent protein expression in a subset of neurons. High-resolution axial spacing (4 µm) enables seamless display of original XY-dimensional data in orthogonal directions (XZ & YZ), providing for accurate identification of each cell body.