MDS Analytical Technologies launches Molecular Devices' MetaMorph ICS Confocal Microscope for live cell and functional imaging

SUNNYVALE, CA, Oct 1, 2007 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX News Network) - MDS Analytical Technologies, a leader in innovative solutions for drug discovery and life sciences research, announced today the launch of a significant advance in high speed imaging technologies from its Molecular Devices business with the release of the MetaMorph® ICS (Integrated Confocal System), in partnership with VisiTech International, a manufacturer of confocal hardware. This turnkey, confocal microscope is the first of its kind in the imaging industry. It has the capability to obtain high resolution images in multiple dimensions to support researchers in their exploration of live cell and functional imaging without the limitations inherent in other high-speed imaging technologies.

This unique microscope combines the Molecular Devices' MetaMorph software, which is the industry standard automation and image analysis package, with the VT-Infinity(3)TM 2D-array laser confocal scanner from VisiTech International. This combination is designed to meet the growing demand for imaging rapid changes within cells and then analyzing these changes in multiple dimensions.

The microscope has matched micro-lens and pinhole arrays to achieve optimum performance and a single, double-sided galvanometer mirror to scan the sample, de-scan the fluorescent light returned from the sample, and re-scan that fluorescent light into the camera to create multi-dimensional, confocal images in real-time. This capability is especially useful in such areas as cardiac research. For example, after a heart attack, researchers want to know how the cardiac muscle contracts to determine if there is damage to the muscle. Using calcium imaging with the MetaMorph ICS, the reaction of cardiac muscle cells can be analyzed in real-time, giving researchers important clues as to how the cardiac muscle works.

This new microscope can be used in multiple imaging applications, including protein localization, protein-protein interactions, gene expression, intra-cellular ion waves, calcium puffs and sparks, FRET, co-localization, tissue section morphology and 3D reconstruction.

"We are very excited to introduce this innovative microscope, a first of its kind in the imaging industry," said Andy Boorn, President of MDS Analytical Technologies. "We've combined the speed, resolution, and sensitivity of the multi-dimensional, confocal imaging technology with the methods and applications in our MetaMorph software to produce a powerful new solution for researchers to advance their analysis with live cell and functional imaging."

Professor Dr. Peter Lipp, chair of the Institute for Molecular Cell Biology at the University of the Saarland in Homburg, Germany, commented, "In our research lab, we use the VT-Infinity(3) scanner. This scanner represents an entirely new level in multi-beam confocal technology, offering greater flexibility and ultra-high-speed acquisition. It was an excellent choice to use as the scanning component in the new MetaMorph ICS."

The new MetaMorph ICS microscope will be presented at the American Society for Cell Biology Annual Meeting, December 1-5, 2007 in Washington, DC, at MDS Analytical Technologies' Molecular Devices booth No.1203.