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Miniaturized modules for 3D microscopy: light sheet and axial tomography

Prof. Herbert Schneckenburger, Aalen University; Dr Thomas Bruns, Aalen University; Dr Sarah Bruns, Aalen University; Dr Verena Richter, Aalen University; Dr Dag Kubin, JM Microsystems GmbH

Aalen University


3D imaging devices, e.g. Laser Scanning Microscopy or Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy are most commonly stand-alone instruments of high technical potential, but limited flexibility. Therefore, there is some need of combining these techniques together with further methods, e.g. spectral imaging or fluorescence lifetime imaging, in a single low-cost instrument. Simultaneous detection of multiple parameters and increased resolution give additional information for diagnostics of living cells and tissues.


We developed two miniaturized modules, which are easily adapted to a conventional (inverted) microscope. The first module permits illumination by a light sheet with simultaneous adjustment of the detection system for 3D imaging at low light exposure to avoid phototoxicity and photobleaching. The second module permits rotation of the sample for multi-view imaging, axial tomography and finally an increase of resolution.

Commercial Opportunity

Potential manufacturers are welcome for their cooperation.

Development Status

Prototypes are available and ready to use. For some types of microscopes mechanical adaptors are required.

Patent Situation

The state of invention is disclosed and published. There are no pending patents.

Further Reading

T. Bruns, H. Schneckenburger, S. Schickinger: “Sample holder for rotation of three-dimensional specimens in microscopy“, European Patent Application EP 2 851 730 A1, date of publication: 25.03.2015.

T. Bruns, S. Schickinger, H. Schneckenburger: “Sample holder for axial rotation of specimens in 3D Microscopy”, J. Microsc. 260(1) (2015) 30-36; doi: 10.1111/jmi.12263.

T. Bruns, S. Bruns, H. Schneckenburger: “Observing the 3rd dimension – A simple way to upgrade common microscopes for sample rotation”, G.I.T. Imaging & Microscopy 2 (2016) 28-30.

T. Bruns, M. Bauer, S. Bruns, H. Meyer, D. Kubin, H. Schneckenburger: “Miniaturized modules for light sheet microscopy with low chromatic aberration”, J. Microsc. 264(3) (2016) 261-267; doi: 10.1111/jmi.12439.

H. Schneckenburger, S. Bruns, V. Richter, M. Wagner, T. Bruns: “Light sheet module for 3d imaging – a miniaturized device permits 3d resolution in microscopy,” G.I.T. Imaging & Microscopy 3 (2018) 26-28.


Miniaturized modules for 3D microscopy: light sheet and axial tomography