Point Scanning Device

Point Scanning Device

The  Firefly is a galvanometer based movable spot system designed for the illumination of small spots in the field of view of the microscope. The use of scanners allows the fast relocation of the spot anywhere in the field as well as the scanning of larger regions of interest (ROI).

The  Firefly includes the scanner module, the optical and mechanical components necessary to create the spot and to attach the module to the microscope, the microcontroller and the software. The optical module is coupled to the microscope without interfering with most other existing devices (i.e. spinning disk, LSM, etc.). Standard systems provide coupling for one or two fiber coupled lasers, but options for up to four lasers are available. The lasers are application specific, have to be ordered separately

Scanner module:

  • Add-on module, can be integrated into existing set-ups
  • Switching time between any two spot locations <1ms
  • Scanning speed within an ROI up to 5kHz
  • Spot size as low as submicron, depending on microscope, objective and light guide aperture
  • Wide variety of  UV, VIS and NIR lasers available (266 to 1470 nm)
  • Up to four lasers per system
  • Switching time between two laser lines: <1ms
  • Laser coupling to the system: direct or via light guide
  • Can be combined with wide field fluorescence, LSM and spinning disc confocal, etc.
  • Modules available for most modern research microscope brands and models

SysCon Software:

  • The SysCon software runs in parallel with and independent of any other imaging or electrophysiology software
  • Simultaneous and independent spot illumination and imaging data acquisition
  • “Click & Fire” mode for real time spot illumination 
  • Programmable illumination (sequences) of multiple locations and/or regions of interests (ROIs)
  • ROI geometries include: lines, circles, polygons, free-hand drawn shapes
  • Grid stimulation with sequential or random illumination of grid points
  • TTL-in and -out 
  • Manual or TTL-triggered sequence start
  • TTL-triggered events within the sequence
  • Able to run up to two lasers within the same experimen


  • Ablation, cutting, microdissection
  • Photobleaching and FRAP
  • Photolysis, uncaging, drug photorelease
  • Optogenetics
  • Photoactivation
  • Photoswitching
  • Photoconvertion
  • Photostimulation
  • Neural mapping, dynamics and plasticity
  • FRET

  Kohl, M. M. et al., (2009). Cell type specific optical stimulation reveals left-right asymmetry of hippocampal plasticity, poster, SFN Meeting

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