Illumination Inside of an Incubator for Optogenetics or Phototoxicity Research

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Note: For the Latest information see “Illumination Inside of an Incubators and Co2 Chambers – Part II

One challenging application we get asked about occasionally is illumination inside of an incubator. These hot, humid and often crowded conditions make it difficult to deliver high intensity light.

In one instance, a cardiology researcher using Optogenetics needed intense blue light over an area of microwells to activate channelrhodopsin. There were a number of reasons not to place the Ultra High Power LED in the chambers, including the concern about damaging the LED, condensation on the lens, lack of space and primarily disturbance from the fan of the LED. The solution was a liquid light guide coupled to the  Ultra High Power LED outside of the incubator. After some fine tuning to balance the intensity so that the cells were not damaged by the intense light, the LED was successful in illuminating the microplate and activating the ChR2.

Update July 25, 2016 The new UHP-F product line of Ultra High Power Light Guide coupled LEDs is now the ideal solution for delivering intense light inside of incubators. Available in UV, Visible and white, the UHP-F delivers up to 4 watts of intense light through a 3 or 5mm Liquid Light Guide. Prizmatix can supply customized collimators that will direct the light at the target for the highest possible power per square cm.

The UHP-F white LED is also ideal for use with microscopes. 

Another researcher studying phototoxicity wanted to illuminate multiple petri dishes inside an incubator with various shades of violet and blue light. The application did not need very high power, just 1-2mW per cm square, but it did require uniform illumination.

Prizmatix Ultra High Power LEDs were not an option. At some desired wavelengths UHP LEDs were not available and for the colors that were available, the LED would be overkill.

Using the lower cost Prizmatix FC-3 or FC-5-LED fiber coupled LEDs were considered as an option but multiple LEDs would be needed per petri dish to get the power level required and uniformity would be compromised.

Prizmatix engineers came up with a creative semi-custom cost effective solution.Using the body of our  flashlight style inspection lamp minus the handle, we could supply multiple light sources at a variety of wavelengths, with more than adequate power and good uniformity. The snap-on lenses would make it easy to clean if moisture should collect on the lens. The passively cooled LEDs would not introduce unwanted airflow in the chamber. Due to their simple construction, there was no concern about damage from the humidity of the chamber. We designed a 3 LED controller so that three dishes could be illuminated at once with three LED heads.

Feel free to comment or ask question below or contact Goldstone Scientific with your applications requirements.

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Ultra High Power LED for illumination of microwell plates for Optogenetics

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