The technique for lattice light sheet microscopy has been sublicensed to Intelligent Imaging Solutions (3i), a company that designs and manufactures live cell and intravital microscopy imaging platforms. The license agreement was granted earlier in the year by Zeiss and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in hopes to commercialise the novel technique.
Also known as Bessel beam plane illumination microscopy, lattice light sheet microscopy was developed by Dr Eric Betzig and a team of researchers at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus in Virginia, United States. Earlier in the year, Dr Betzig won the Nobel Prize for the development of stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy; another revolutionary technique that allows imaging of biological components down to 20nm in size.
The lattice light sheet method involves using ultra-thin sheets of light to rapidly collect high resolution images. Because it uses one light beam that is divided into seven parts, each portion of the sample is only exposed to a minimal amount of radiation, preventing the sample from being damaged. In addition, the whole process is much faster than traditional scanning techniques, as each portion of the light beam covers its own section of the sample − users don’t have to wait for the beam to cover the whole sample area.
The process can acquire live, three-dimensional images, allowing researchers to observe the activity of molecules, cells, and embryos in finer detail and over longer periods than was previously possible.
By granting the exclusive sublicense to 3i, Zeiss is contributing to making Lattice light sheet microscopy available to scientists and early adopters in a timely manner. 3i will sell and support the development system based on Dr Eric Betzig’s original design, whereas in the meantime development for a turn-key Zeiss instrument is underway.