Light BYTES – September 2021: Lumencor’s 2021 Earth Day Imaging Contest


Congratulations to Dr. Tejeshwar Rao, postdoctoral fellow in Professor Alexa Mattheyses’ laboratory in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. He is the deserving first prize winner of Lumencor’s 2021 Earth Day Imaging Competition and will soon be the proud owner of a new SOLA Light Engine. The winning image (below) is notable as an example of visualization of functional, as well as structural properties, of cells and tissues. To learn more about Dr Rao’s research and the motivations behind it, check out his profile interview in the Journal of Cell Science.

Congratulations are also due to the second and third prize winners, Dr. Danaí Montalván-Sorrosa (Instituto de Química, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and Dr. Raghuveer Parthasarathy (Department of Physics, University of Oregon). As always, we were impressed with the endeavor and skill evident in all the images submitted in this year’s competition. Thanks to all our customers for their support of Lumencor illumination products!

Legend: Lumencor Earth Day Imaging Competition 2021, First Prize, submitted by Dr. Tejeshwar Rao, University of Alabama: A single HUVEC cell with blue fluorescence generated by a tension gauge tether (TGT) probe in response to adhesion forces exerted by the cell. The cytoskeleton-organizing adaptor protein paxillin and the actin cytoskeleton are represented by purple and orange fluorescence respectively. Image acquired using a SOLA SE 365 Light Engine on a Nikon Ti2 microscope.

SPATIAL BIOLOGY US CONGRESS (27–30 September, 2021)

Reflecting our increasing engagement in this dynamic and fast-growing field, Lumencor is proud to be a silver sponsor of this year’s online Spatial Biology US Congress. On September 29 at 1:30 PM Eastern, 10:30 AM Pacific, Pu Zheng from Professor Xiaowei Zhuang’s laboratory at Harvard University, will be giving a presentation on “Genome-scale Imaging of the 3D Chromatin Organization and Transcriptional Activity in Single Cells.” Pu’s will present an in-depth discussion of his work using the CELESTA Light Engine® published in Cell (2020) 182:1641–1659. Preceding the presentation on September 28 at 4:00 PM Eastern, 1:00 PM Pacific, Pu will participate in a roundtable discussion together with Lumencor’s Director of Technical Support Iain Johnson, Ph.D., and Sales Engineer Shayra Leon, a specialist in the use of Lumencor laser products for spatial biology applications.

Download the PDF of Lumencor lightBYTES: September 2021

Application SpotLIGHT – August 2021: Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells using the SPECTRA Light Engine®

Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells using the
SPECTRA Light Engine®

Detection of circulating tumor cells (CTC) is in widespread development as a noninvasive “liquid biopsy” for early-stage cancer diagnosis. CTCs are cells that circulate in the blood and the lymphatic system after becoming detached from a primary tumor (Figure 1). The main challenge in detection of CTCs is their extremely low abundance. The critical level for diagnosis is about 1 CTC per milliliter of blood against a background of millions of white cells and billions of red cells. Detection of CTCs is accomplished by cellular enrichment, using one of several strategies [1] followed by immunofluorescence discrimination of CTCs from normal blood cells. Lumencor light engines provide illumination for immunofluorescence imaging in many commercial CTC detection systems currently undergoing development and validation. One such system, recently described by Jou and co-workers [2], uses a microfluidic device with embedded streptavidin-coated nanopillar arrays to capture target cells pre-incubated with biotinylated anti-EpCAM and anti-N-cadherin antibodies. Using illumination from a SPECTRA Light Engine, CTCs are identified as FITC–EpCAM positive/TRITC–CD45 negative/DAPI positive. Increased specificity can be achieved by expanding the multiplex immunostaining panel with the cancer stem cell specific marker CD13 (Figure 2). The entire process of CTC enrichment, immunostaining, slide scanning, image analysis and cell classification is automated, resulting in improved reproducibility and increased throughput compared to protocols involving manual processing.

Reference: [1] P Bankó, SY Lee, A Telekes et al. J Hematol Oncol (2019) 12:48; [2] HJ Jou, LY Chou, HT Hsu et al. Micromachines (2021) 12:473

Download the PDF of Lumencor Application SpotLIGHT: August 2021

LightREADING August 2021

New Faces: Welcome to Adrian and Valerie

Lumencor is very pleased to welcome and introduce to you some fresh faces. Adrian Woodland (pictured right) is our new Marketing Assistant. Adrian is a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, BS in Business with emphasis in Marketing. She works with Marketing Director Ellen Ferguson on all MarCom collateral including Light Reading newsletter for our resellers, advertisements, social media as well as exciting new website updates. For Valerie Owusu-Hienno (pictured left), it’s a welcome back. Following a successful internship in 2020, Valerie is joining us again as a Summer Marketing Intern before heading into her Senior year at the International School of Beaverton. Among other things, Valerie will be conducting surveys and gathering testimonial content to update our website. You may be hearing from her in the near future!

Revised Reseller Price Lists Effective July 1, 2021

Revised pricing for all Lumencor products went into effect on July 1, 2021. Price lists showing the revised pricing were sent to all resellers during May and June. They are identified by “Effective Date July 1, 2021” on the cover page and all page headers. Please notify us by e-mail to if you did not receive your July 1, 2021 price list.

SOLA Light Engine® Start Up Sequence

Our new SOLA, SOLA FISH, SOLA U-nIR and SOLA V-nIR Light Engines are designed to be functionally similar to their SOLA SE and SOLA SM predecessors. However, there are a couple of differences to watch out for.
1. After the Light Engine is powered on, wait 30 seconds before turning on light output (Figure 1). All SOLA models now provide the option of manual operation using the “light” button in the front top right corner, or electronic control via the USB port. Note that for electronic ON/OFF control, the manual light button must be in the OFF position.
2. On the SOLA SE and SOLA SM, the Light Engine will not power on if the liquid light guide is not inserted in the light output port. The new SOLA, SOLA FISH, SOLA U-nIR and SOLA V-nIR, models will power on without the liquid light guide in place, but light output (manually or electronically controlled) is disabled until the light guide is fully inserted. When the liquid light guide is fully inserted, about 3 mm of its stainless steel collar remains exposed outside the body of the light engine (Figure 1). Note also that the liquid light guide is now included with all SOLA, SOLA FISH, SOLA U-nIR and SOLA V-nIR orders and no longer has to be ordered as a separate accessory.

Figure 1: Start-up sequence for SOLA, SOLA FISH, SOLA U-nIR and
SOLA v-nIR light engines

Safety Interlock Checklist

If a CELESTA, ZIVA, SPECTRA, AURA and RETRA Light Engine fails to produce light output in response to an ON command, users are advised to check that all of the four safety interlocks are closed. The four safety interlocks (Figure 2) are: 1. Control key must be in ON position. 2. SMA-terminated optical fi ber must be attached to the output port. The distal end of the fiber must be connected to the microscope or otherwise directed into a closed optical path before turning on light output. 3. External gate jumper must be inserted. 4. Remote interlock
jumper must be inserted.

Open safety interlocks are indicated by ILK = RED in the onboard control GUI (Figure 3).

The control key, external gate jumper and remote interlock jumper required to close the 3 of the 4 interlocks are supplied in a bag placed in the accessories tray of the shipping box, and must be inserted as shown below during installation. Sets of replacement interlock connectors (part number 83-10012) may be ordered if the original ones are mislaid.

Figure 2: CELESTA Light Engine safety interlocks.

Figure 3: Red ILK indicator on the bottom right of the onboard control GUI display, indicating an open interlock condition.

Download the PDF of Light Reading: August 2021

Light BYTES – June 2021: Proud to be recognized as a Top 10 Photonics Solutions Provider by Semiconductor Review Magazine

Proud to be recognized as a Top 10 Photonics Solutions Provider by Semiconductor Review Magazine

Control of the spatial, spectral and temporal characteristics of light is becoming increasingly important for defect analysis and device testing in semiconductor manufacturing. Well-known limitations of arc lamps and incandescent bulbs are their limited operating lifetimes and lack the flexibility, necessary for facile integration in modular instrument designs. Consequently, OEM instrument designers and manufacturers are turning to Lumencor’s solid-state illumination products for solutions. In recognition, Lumencor has recently been awarded a Top 10 Photonics Solutions Provider, in the prestigious annual 10-company listing compiled by Semiconductor Review Magazine. Therein, notable leaders at the forefront of providing photonics solutions and transforming businesses are distinguished for their creativity and efficacy. An accompanying feature article appears in the magazine’s June 2021 issue.

Defect analysis and device testing in semiconductor manufacturing requires illumination that delivers reliable, reproducible, consistent performance. Lumencor’s precision manufacturing results in unsurpassed reproducibility from one light engine to the next. An analysis of test data from 25 SOLA Light Engines® shows a standard deviation of only 70 mW from average, equating to a 2% coefficient of variance. Such inter-instrument reproducibility is unheard of with regard to arc lamps and the bulbs on which they depend.

Download the PDF of Lumencor lightBYTES: June 2021

Light BYTES – May 2021: Epi-illuminators for CELESTA Light Engines® in Super-Resolution Imaging

Epi-illuminators for CELESTA Light Engines® in Super-Resolution Imaging

Super-resolution imaging of RNA transcripts using multiplex error robust fluorescence in situ hybridization (MERFISH) and related methods in combination with the CELESTA Light Engine® [1] requires higher levels of irradiance (mW/mm2) than can be obtained from Koehler illumination. To facilitate these applications, Lumencor has developed a series of epi-lluminators that provide uniform illumination over a smaller field of view but with much higher irradiance than typical Koehler illumination can provide. Epi-illuminators compatible with all major research microscope brands are available.

[1] JH Su, P Zheng, X Zhuang et al. Cell (2020) 182:1641–1659

Download the PDF of Lumencor lightBYTES: May 2021

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