Leica sCMOS microscope camera for imaging live cells under near-native conditions

Leica Microsystems launches the Leica DFC9000, a monochrome microscope camera with a highly sensitive third-generation sCMOS sensor. The camera enables researchers to image live cells under near-native conditions, allowing them to gain a better understanding of cellular processes and dynamics.

The Leica DFC9000 features an sCMOS sensor with high quantum efficiency over the entire spectrum of light, which provides a high signal-to-noise ratio to securely detect even faint signals. Compared to the second generation sensor, the maximum quantum efficiency increased by 14%, totaling up to 82% depending on wavelength as illustrated in the graphic below. In combination with a very low noise level, this results in a crisp fluorescence signal against a dark background – an effect very much desired in high-end fluorescence live cell imaging. The high sensitivity of the camera eliminates the need to monitor GFP-overexpressing specimens and protects cells from phototoxicity. The camera acquires full-frame images at a standard rate of 50 frames per second (fps) in the USB 3.0 interface version and at 90 fps with the Camera Link interface version. Higher frame rates can be achieved with partial readout of, for example, 512 x 512 pixels with 270 fps. This means researchers will not miss any fast cellular processes.

"sCMOS cameras have become the gold standard in demanding, high-end live cell imaging. Their sensitivity and speed ensure that users can capture data even from very fast processes – with other sensors these would be lost. With the Leica DFC9000, we launch the first Leica sCMOS camera. It enables researchers to get closer to reality, because they can image live cells under near-native conditions. This camera fits many of our research microscopes perfectly: Their 19 mm camera ports are designed to take full advantage of the 19 mm sensor diagonal, making sure researchers benefit from this really large field of view," says Markus Lusser, President of Leica Microsystems.

Microscopes from Leica Microsystems, like the inverted Leica DMi8 or the upright Leica DM6 B, offer a fully optically corrected 19 mm camera port that allows researchers to make full use of the sensor and achieve a real field of view of 19 mm over the entire imaging system.

The Leica DFC9000 is available with a USB 3.0 interface as the Leica DFC9000 GT, and with a Camera Link interface as the Leica DFC9000 GTC.