Navitar acquires Modulation Optics

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Navitar Life Sciences, an affiliated entity of Navitar, a leading optics manufacturer, has acquired assets of Modulation Optics and its Hoffman Modulation Contrast (HMC) imaging technology.

Modulation Optics, located in Glen Cove, New York, manufactures HMC microscope components and systems for use in live cell imaging applications such as stem cell imaging, cancer study, and embryo and sperm monitoring during in vitro fertilisation procedures. The HMC technology, originally developed and patented by Dr Robert Hoffman, has become a widely used light microscopy contrast method for viewing colourless and transparent biological specimens.

'HMC technology has enabled an enormous expansion in live cell imaging capabilities,' commented Julian Goldstein, co-president of Navitar. 'With this technology it is now possible to image active events in living cells with clear, high resolution microscopic images and enhanced sharpness and definition. It can increase contrast in both stained and unstained specimens providing real insights into cell function.'

HMC imaging is used in the identification and characterisation of stem cells in live cell observation and analysis systems. In in vitro fertilisation (IVF), embryos are routinely observed by means of this enhanced contrast microscopy technique. Additionally, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and Intracytoplasmic Morphology Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI) techniques also utilise HMC systems.

With the acquisition of Modulation Optics and the HMC technology, Navitar is making a substantial commitment to expand its biomedical capabilities with live cell imaging optics. According Goldstein: 'The combination of Modulation Optics and Navitar enables our customers to get the ultimate solution for advanced imaging methods in live cell research, which will lead to the development of innovative new equipment for the life sciences industry.'

HMC can be applied to most objective lenses including Olympus, Nikon, Zeiss, Leica, and high magnification imaging systems from Navitar. Modulation Optics offers HMC accessories including full 360° rotating modulators with convenient 'stop' mechanism, condensers, turrets, and modules specifically matched with the individual HMC objectives.

'This acquisition enables Navitar to expand our product offering beyond our mainstay ZFL fluorescence imaging optical systems,' said Goldstein. 'In addition, HMC will now be able to be used in combination with our other illumination techniques like DIC, darkfield, brightfield and fluorescence to achieve spectacular images for our customers.'

Goldstein commented that Navitar looks forward to continuing to service and support Modulation Optics' current customers while expanding upon the current product offerings to include a comprehensive array of new precision optical tools for the next generation of IVF, stem cell, and live cell imaging equipment.

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