Aura Phase Contrast Illuminator

The Aura is a ring-light of LEDs that replaces the microscope condenser for phase contrast imaging on an inverted microscope.

  • Allows true Zernike phase contrast with extra working space around the sample
  • Excellent for complex experiments in electrophysiology, live cell imaging, and multi-modal time lapse
  • Provides large working area above the sample for electrophysiology and microfluidic equipment
  • Working distance of up to 220mm

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Complex experiments in the fields of electrophysiology and live cell imaging often require the use of instrumentation near the sample. The Aura Phase Contrast Illuminator provides extra working distance above the sample, up to 220 mm, for these demanding experiments. The Aura uses concentric rings of super-bright LEDs in place of the conventional condenser and phase rings.

The Aura system provides the simplest possible alignment, the highest-quality phase contrast images, and is directly compatible with the best modern inverted research microscopes for electrophysiology, live cell imaging, and multi-modal time lapse experiments. Aura allows turn-key PhL, Ph1, and Ph2 imaging in white light or the near infrared.  As with all products from the manufacturer Cairn, this unit integrates into most existing systems with flexible timing and control systems.

Aura Schematic

Comparative optical schema. (A) Optical schema for conventional Zernike phase contrast microscopy, consisting of collimated light source, phase annulus, condenser assembly, and phase contrast objective lens. Inset view of objective BFP via Bertrand lens showing overlapped phase annulus and phase ring. (B) Optical schema for condenser-free Zernike phase contrast consisting of LED ring and phase contrast objective. Inset view of objective BFP showing overlapped image of LED.

Working Distance Above SampleUp to 180 mm
Phase Rings SupportedPhL, Ph1, and Ph2
Control OptionsTTL/Analog, USB (with optional adapter), and manual
Ultra-Long Working DistanceIdeal for electrophysiology and other micromanipulation applications
Easy to AlignIdeal for multiuser facilities – no condenser to align.
Supports both Phase Contrast and Brightfield ImagingFlexible application uses
  • Electrophysiology
  • Live cell imaging
  • Time-lapse and multimodal integration
  • Simultaneous fluorescence and transmitted light
  • Simultaneous high speed and high resolution

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