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J Biomol Tech. 2010 September; 21(3 Suppl): S19.
PMCID: PMC2918070

A Method for Quantitative Comparison of the Detection Sensitivity of Spectral Confocal Systems

R. Williams
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States



In confocal microscopy high fluorescence detection sensitivity translates into lower excitation intensity and less perturbation when imaging living specimens. While many factors enter into deciding on which spectral confocal to purchase, sensitivity is one that can be quantified and therefore objectively compared.With non-filter based spectral confocal microscopes becoming common, a method based on photon shot noise as a function of excitation intensity and a given spectral collection bandwidth is presented as straightforward means of sensitivity comparison. We recently carried out this sensitivity test on spectral confocal systems from all of the major confocal vendors and in this talk will present the method and the measurement results.

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