Abberior Instruments licenses next generation STED-technology

Protected STED will improve microscopic imaging of living cells

June 24, 2016

STED-microscopy is a Nobel Prize awarded technology that allows to create highly resolved fluorescence images far below the diffraction limit. Earlier this year, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen have proposed and demonstrated their new Protected STED concept which enhances the image contrast and reduces photobleaching in STED-microscopy by up to an order of magnitude. It is expected that their invention will particularly boost life-cell and medical applications of STED-microscopy.

Max Planck Innovation and Abberior Instruments have finalized negotiations on the exclusive licensing of intellectual property regarding the Protected STED technology. “Abberior Instruments is glad to be able to integrate Protected STED technology into its next generation of STED-microscopes,” says Abberior Instruments’ managing director Gerald Donnert, “which perfectly fits our strategy to provide our customers the most advanced STED-microscopes for live-cell imaging.”

Protected STED is a recently introduced innovation in STED microscopy which takes advantage of photoactivatable fluorescent labels. During image acquisition the initially nonfluorescent labels are photoactivated at each scan position before they are imaged with STED. Because labels outside the current scan point remain nonfluorescent and thus cannot contribute to the fluorescent background the image contrast is significantly enhanced. Furthermore, because markers in their nonfluorescent absorb neither excitation nor STED light they are not subject to photobleaching. It has been shown that photobleaching can be reduced by up to an order of magnitude while, at the same time, the image contrast is enhanced significantly.

 “The innovation takes STED-microscopy to another level. Improved resolution and image contrast will provide researchers with even better capabilities, contributing to new developments in medical research. With Abberior Instruments we have won an experienced industrial partner to bring this innovation to the market,” explains Bernd Ctortecka, Patent and Licensing Manager at Max Planck Innovation.


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