Applied Precision’s OMX Blaze is the world’s first system capable of acquiring moving images of live cells at super-resolution in all three dimensions. New technology will accelerate scientists’ understanding of disease mechanisms at the molecular level

Applied Precision Inc., a GE Healthcare company, today announced the launch of DeltaVision OMX Blaze™, a research microscopy system designed to reach the next level in the evolution of super-resolution imaging by employing a proprietary, ultra-fast, illumination module and the latest advanced high-speed camera technologies. 

The new DeltaVision OMX Blaze system’s speed of image acquisition enables researchers to follow tagged proteins within the same living cell, over time, in three-dimensional space, at near molecular resolution. This makes it possible to start answering new kinds of research questions about how certain structures in cells behave, what they interact with, and how long the events last.

Paul Goodwin, Director of Advanced Applications, API, said, “It’s a pretty extraordinary feeling, to see moving images of live cells at a greater level of detail than anyone has witnessed before.  The implications of this advance in imaging technology are hugely exciting for researchers. With the OMX Blaze we can start to answer questions that we never could before.”

Dr Amr Abid, General Manager of Cell Technologies, GE Healthcare Life Sciences, said, “We are only at the beginning of what this technology can do. The ability to follow cellular interactions, over time at the molecular level will open up new frontiers in so many areas of life science research.  This is a hugely important step forward for cellular imaging.”

Researchers at the UC Davis-based Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology (CBST) collaborated early as beta testers for the technology. The system is also being installed at a number of early adopter sites around the world which are expected to go live in the next two months.

Dr Frank Chuang, Associate Research Director, CBST, said, “We’re at the point where we need to understand mechanisms of health and disease at the molecular level.  The OMX Blaze has tremendous potential as a research tool, and we are very excited to apply this in our laboratory models to observe the response of cancer cells to chemotherapy, the cell-to-cell transmission of HIV and other viruses, and the dynamics of engineered nanoparticles.”

In the past ten years, a number of fluorescent microscopy methods have been developed which use computational or optical techniques to exceed the previously assumed limits of optical microscopy.  Applied Precision’s DeltaVision OMX super-resolution system uses a technique called 3D-SIM (Structured Illumination Microscopy) which approximately doubles the resolution in all three dimensions, giving an eight times improvement in volume resolution compared to conventional microscopy.