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Closeup of Scientific microscope data analysis in the laboratory, study for making vaccine

 Enhanced Darkfield Microscopy

Unmatched Darkfield Microscopy for Nanoscale Optical Imaging 

Observe Nanoparticles as Small as 10nm-20nm  Right From Your Laboratory Benchtop 

CytoViva Enhanced Darkfield Microscopy 

Darkfield microscopy has long been known to improve upon imaging detection limits versus other commonly used optical techniques. Because of this, it has emerged as a critical tool for nanotechnology research.  With its Enhanced Darkfield (EDF) Illuminator, CytoViva has improved on the performance and operability of darkfield microscopy to make these imaging advantages accessible to a wide range of researchers.  The patented (US patents No. 7,542,203, 7,564,623) illuminator, which is compatible with most research-grade optical microscopes, is currently used by hundreds of nanotechnology laboratories around the world.

Simply put, CytoViva’s enhanced darkfield optics allow researchers to see things they have never been able to see before.  This illumination technique enables scientists to optically observe a wide range of nanoscale materials quickly and easily in solution, live cells, tissue and materials-based matrices. In addition, non-fluorescent live cells and pathogens can be easily observed at a level of detail not possible with traditional optical imaging techniques such as phase contrast or differential interference contrast.

CytoViva’s Enhanced Darkfield Illuminator is specifically designed to overcome the performance and operational issues resident in standard darkfield optics. This improved performance has been accomplished by managing the source light onto the sample in a highly structured manner.  The result is an improvement in the scattering signal-to-noise ratio up to ten times when compared to traditional darkfield configurations. These results have been verified in multiple independent tests (see Figures 1 and 2). With CytoViva’s enhanced darkfield microscopy, nanomaterials as small as 10nm – 20nm can be imaged right from your laboratory benchtop3.

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CytoViva’s enhanced darkfield microscope optics work by coupling the source light directly to the darkfield condenser optics via light guide. These darkfield optics include; special collimating lenses and mirrors that align and fix the geometry of the light to match the geometry of the condenser. This creates a very narrow, oblique angle of light that can be precisely focused onto the sample. The result is very intense scatter from nanoscale samples against a very dark background.  This high-performance capability not only provides users with previously unobtainable images, but it also allows established techniques such as hyperspectral and Raman microscopy to be used in new and exciting ways.

Source illumination compatible with this system can be halogen, mercury, xenon or even laser, depending on the application.


Lastly, when combined with CytoViva’s Hyperspectral Imaging capability, this high signal-to-noise microscopy method enables researchers to spectrally characterize and map nanoscale samples in a wide range of environments.


 CytoViva provides full darkfield microscope systems and its enhanced darkfield optics can be added to most existing research-grade optical microscopes.

Please email to request your private web demonstration.

3Chaudhari, K., & Pradeep, T. (2014). Spatiotemporal mapping of three dimensional rotational dynamics of single ultrasmall gold nanorods. Scientific Reports, 4, 5948.

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