LV200 Bioluminescence Microscope

Bioluminescence imaging has been used in a range of research fields over the past decades. Despite its advantages of very low background, high S/N ratios and an extended linear detection range, luminescence imaging with traditional microscopes has suffered from low image resolution and long exposure times. These drawbacks have limited its use and kept bioluminescence in the shadow of fluorescence imaging. With its unique optical design, the LV200 microscope takes full advantage of bioluminescence and provides the capability to acquire images with unrivalled brightness, high resolution and convenience.
Product Image


Like all other Olympus microscopes, the LV200 is highly customizable to fit a broad range of applications and research needs.


Despite its capability to capture more light than conventional microscopes, some samples still produce very limited light for imaging. For most applications, cameras with high sensitivity are necessary to produce the best results. Frequently used cameras for bioluminescence imaging with the LV200 are:


Hamamatsu ImagEM: EMCCD designed for low to ultra-low light imaging

Pixel size  16 µm x 16 µm
Dark Current 0.01 e/pix/s (-65°C). 0.001 e/pix/s (-90°C)
Maximum cooling -65°C (air cooling), -90°C (water cooling)
Frame rate >30 fps (full frame)
Active pixels 512 x 512


Andor iKonM: High-sensitivity CCD camera designed for low light imaging

Pixel size  13 µm x 13 µm
Dark Current 0.0003 e/pix/s (-80°C). 0.00012 e/pix/s (-100°C)
Maximum cooling -80°C (air cooling), -100°C (water cooling)
Frame rate 4.4 fps (full frame)
Active pixels 1024 x 1024



Environmental control is critical for live cell imaging. The LV200 features a stage top incubator from Tokai Hit specifically redesigned to meet all needs for imaging cells grown in various culture dishes and easy adaptation of the microscope. The larger central opening at the bottom of the incubator makes allows quick exchange the objective to the desired magnification and NA.

Incubator Incubator


The incubator features removable dish attachments for imaging of cells grown in various culture dish formats. These inserts are held in place by magnets that allow quick exchange of dish attachments without the need for tools. Dish attachments are available for round culture dishes with 35 mm (regular and glass bottom) and 65 mm diameter and chamber slide.

Dish Attachment


Despite the temperature control of the main incubator, incubator top and objective, the exposure to air of ambient temperature at the bottom of the dish can cause fluctuations in sample temperature. The temperature feedback lids for 35 mm dishes and chamber slides provide a solution to keep the sample temperature stable independent of changes in ambient temperature. This feedback control is particularly important for long-term observation in laboratories with day/night temperature cycles.

Temperature Feedback Lids


When imaging cells for extended periods of time, the culture medium can be depleted of critical nutrient and growth factor and waste products can accumulate. A perfusion lid offers the opportunity to continuously feed fresh medium, luciferin and drugs to the cultures without opening the microscope top and interrupting the active imaging. The continuous replenishment of luciferin though perfusion eliminates the need to add the substrate at high concentration at the beginning of the experiment.

Perfusion Lid


When imaging cells under regular culture conditions, the flow premixed gasses, e.g. 5% CO2 and 95% O2, can be controlled by a flow meter only. For custom mixed gases, a controller with gas mixer and flow control is available.
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