DSU - Key Features

Disk spinning confocal unit

DSU - Disk Spinning Unit

The Olympus DSU (Disk Scanning Unit) represents a breakthrough in spinning disk confocal technology. Designed by Olympus, the DSU disk contains a pattern of slits that creates a virtual pinhole as the disk spins at 3,000 rpm. Designed to optimize the tradeoff between confocality and light throughput, the DSU uses an arc lamp illumination source for maximum excitation wavelength flexibility at a reasonable cost. The DSU is compatible with both inverted and upright Olympus microscopes, including the motorized IX81 and BX61 making it an ideal imaging system for automated Z-stack, 3-D image analysis. The water-immersion BX61WI and BX51WI electrophysiology microscopes and the entire water immersion objective line are also supported



 Without DSU
 With DSU


  • Resolution enhancement by removal of out of focus blur
  • Sharp, high contrast semi-confocal images
  • Cost efficient optical sectioning
  • Reduced post image processing efforts

  Advanced system performance
3D image stacks can be acquired easily using the inverted IX81 or the upright BX61 microscope platforms with their built-in, precise Z motor. Integrated control of DSU, motorised microscope and cooled CCD camera is implemented in Olympus image acquisition software packages, resulting in a complete imaging system solution 

   Semi-confocal images using a cooled CCD camera
In conventional fluorescence microscopy the inside structure of thick specimens cannot be resolved clearly because of pronounced contribution of out of focus light from above and below the focal plane. It is possible to reject this out of focus light by placing a rotating slit disc in a confocal plane of the microscope. The result is a clear, continous, optically cross-sectioned image that can be recorded with high speed using a cooled CCD camera. The semi-confocal effect alleviates efforts for post image processing

   UV fluorescence excitation capable
DSU optical design is optimised for 350-700nm excitation allowing excellent performance from near UV to near IR. DSU accepts standard Olympus filter cubes for excellent system flexibility. The motorised DSU filter turret has six positions and can accept up to 5 different fluorescence filter cubes for excellent system flexibility. IX2 microcope frames can optionally be equipped with a second motorised turret (IX2-FRFACA)

   Easy operation
A simple switch close to the operator's hand makes it easy to control such functions as inserting the slit disc into or removing it out of the light path, exchanging cubes and opening/closing the shutter. It is quick and easy to switch between general fluorescence observation and semi-confocal observation

   The right disk for each condition
Five disks are available of varying slit width and spacing allowing the DSU to be optimised for varying objective numerical apertures and specimen thicknesses. Semi-confocal images can be collected with objectives ranging from 10-100x

Excellent cost efficiency
The DSU is a cost efficient alternative to laser based confocal microscope systems. The arc lamp illumination source (xenon or mercury lamp) present on any fluorescence microscope can be used without modification. Fluorescence excitation characteristics can be flexibly changed according to the users needs by the addition of new filters and dichromatic mirror sets