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10x faster lifetime contrast facilitates access to new discoveries


Leica Microsystems announces the SP8 FALCON, the world’s first truly integrated lifetime contrast microscope. The SP8 FALCON can record lifetime contrast 10x faster than previous solutions. This lifetime information lets researchers monitor interactions between proteins in living cells as well as providing extra contrast to clearly separate a multitude of fluorophores. For the first time fundamental players in cancer research, metabolomics, and cell signaling can be tracked, as fast as the speed of life.


Histological section from cat eye. Simultaneous intensity (gray) and FLIM (color) confocal imaging reveals contrast by fluorescence lifetime.


“Understanding molecular interaction is the key to finding the origin of a disease and to ultimately developing a cure,” says Markus Lusser, President of Leica Microsystems. “The speed and precision of the SP8 FALCON allows the function of proteins in living cells to be studied for the first time. This is another first from Leica Microsystems that pushes the limits of technology to help our partners gain insights, advance scientific understanding, and safeguard health.”


The SP8 FALCON (FAst Lifetime CONtrast) offers lifetime imaging with FLIM* in an instant. Detecting molecular interactions with biosensors using FRET** is as easy as recording standard confocal data. Even complex experiments are easy to perform, opening up a wide range of applications. As the SP8 FALCON is part of the SP8 family from Leica Microsystems, lifetime imaging can be easily combined with other modalities. For example, combine with the SP8 DIVE for deep imaging, SP8 STED for nanoscopy resolution, or the software module LAS X Navigator for mosaic-tiling that ensures you always have a clear roadmap to brilliant data.

Straightforward FLIM acquisition of complex samples. High resolution mouse embryo mosaic image of 722 tiles containing 190 Megapixels. FLIM data fitted with four characteristic fluorescence lifetimes, here coded in color.  

The SP8 FALCON will be launched at the Focus on Microscopy Meeting (FOM) March 25- 28, in Singapore.

*Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging

**Förster Resonance Energy Transfer


More information on lifetime contrast and lifetime imaging from Leica Microsystems:


On Science Lab, the knowledge portal around microscopy by Leica Microsystems, readers will find useful material on FLIM and key applications:


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