The CaliCube Design

For decades, the Kohler epi Illumination system has been an industry standard. This design intentionally obscures the performance of illumination components in the epi light path, resulting in the inability to visualize how illumination components interact together from within the microscope. Advanced microscopy techniques increasingly rely on a complex relationship of components in the epi light path of a microscope. These components need to be properly coupled, focused, aligned and free of light path obstructions to provide maximum illumination performance.  After more than a century of microscope evolution, the CaliCube now provides users with the ability to monitor all of these critical parameters together. Unlike a Bertrand lens, which provides a view of the illumination plane in back focal plane of the objective, the CaliCube offers a view of the illumination plane as it appears in the epi illumination path. This greatly improves the ability of users to monitor the frequent problems that often compromise microscope performance.

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This simple diagram  shows how a filter cube functions in a fluorescence microscope.

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This simple diagram show how a CaliCube functions in a fluorescence microscope. 

The Kohler illumination system, used in most fluorescent or episcopic illumination systems today, contains conjugate image planes. This design optimizes specimen illumination uniformity in the image plane by defocusing the illumination imperfections found in the illumination plane. While this design improves the performance of the microscope by obscuring epi illumination problems, it also leaves users unable to diagnose significant illumination component problems when they arise.

The Calicube is a newly designed light cube that easily inserts into the fluorescence filter cassette of a microscope and directly relays a diagnostic image obtained from this hidden conjugated plane (the illumination plane) to the user or microscope image acquisition system. Optics are included that extend the depth of field of the epi illuminated light path, providing a clear image of how the epi light source is coupled to the microscope. This reveals a wide range of problems and system inefficiencies unseen by users until now. In addition to the extended depth of field optics, the Calicube contains spectral and neutral density filters to facilitate safe and easy monitoring. Other optics are included to focus and resize the relayed image, in order to accommodate most microscope image acquisition systems.

The Calicube is currently available in six different configurations that enable it to function with most microscope configurations. If you have any questions about performance, compatibility, or warrantee, please contact tom@epitechnology.com.