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Lab imager packs the power of a digital telescope


Need the perfect image of that rat in your food lab to show your favourite regulator?

Eastman Kodak has packed the power of a digital telescope in its latest Kodak Image Station 4000MM,which features four-million pixel resolution, true 16-bit imaging and sensitivity five times better than the company's previous systems.

The 4000MM features a cooled charge-coupled device (CCD) to provide images of a wide range of labels, including multi-wavelength fluorescence, luminescence, colorimetric, and radioisotopic shots of membranes, plates, electrophoresis gels,tissue and live organisms. The CCD is cooled to -29C absolute to get rid of background infrared light and comes with a 10X zoom lens in the 20-200mm range.

The CCD provides a spatial resolution of up to 10 microns/pixel. CCD sensors, widely used in astronomy, can capture up to 70 per cent of incident light, making them more efficient than photographic film, which captures only abouttwo per cent of incident light.

The true 16-bit imaging provides about 65,000 levels of grayscale resolution in a single capture for accurate intensity measurement. The system features an improved penetration of light into tissue, enabling whole body in-vivo molecular imaging research via the detection of fluorescent-tagged biomolecules in living animals and plants.

The closed chamber design gives lab technicians the ability to isolate the optical path from laboratory contaminants, helping to eliminate false artifacts on images. The provided software allows accurate quantitative analysis, including fragment sizing and mass determination; comparative intensity, geometry and positional analysis of multiple regions; colonycounting and annotations.

An optional X-ray module enables x-ray imaging of in-vivo samples, and improves the ability to pinpoint molecular biomarkers.

While Kodak did not provide a price for the machine, the company does have a trade-in programme for US customers who want to step up to the next generation of laboratory imagers. Labs with previousversions of the Kodak Image Station system can get up to $20,000 credit towards the purchase of a new model.


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