Through generous support of Cardiff School of Biosciences, the Bioimaging Research Hub has recently upgraded its Zeiss LSM880 Airyscan confocal system for fast image acquisition via the Zeiss Fast module upgrade. The Airyscan system allows imaging at a resolution 1.7x that of conventional confocal optics (find out more here) and the new fast upgrade provides a 4x speed enhancement with improved signal to noise ratio. The technique uses beam shaping optics to elongate the excitation spot along the y axis so that it simultaneously covers four lines in a single scan. This parallelisation approach, whilst increasing acquisition speeds by a factor of four, allows high pixel dwell times to be maintained resulting in high a signal to noise ratio. You can read more about the technique below or, if you would prefer, kick back and watch this explanatory webinar courtesy of Zeiss.
Huff, J. (2016) The Fast mode for Zeiss LSM880 with AIryscan: high-speed confocal imaging with super-resolution and improved signal to noise. Nature Methods 13: 10.1038/nmeth.f.398.