MEMS confocal unit MEMS confocal unit

FAQs | MEMS confocal unit

Can it be attached to upright microscopes, stereo microscopes, and macro zoom microscopes?

Currently, it is not possible.

Is it possible to install it on basically any microscope as long as it is an inverted microscope?

Yes, as long as the microscope has a side port that allows 100% optical path switching. In that case, a C-mount adapter is required.
If the height of the center of the optical axis of the side port is between 65 mm and 105 mm, you can adjust the height of the MAICO® unit only.

Which software can I use to control MAICO®?

You can use our "HCImage series", "HCImage Live" to control MAICO® only, and "HCImage Acquisition / Analysis" to control the focus of the microscope from the software.

In addition, μManager (Ver. 2.0.0 or later) can be used (HAMAMATSU does not support it).

Can HCImage control a device such as a motorized Z-drive or piezo stage while software controls the microscope focus for image acquisition?

"HCImage Acquisition/Analysis" can control the following controllers for Z drives.

  • Ludl:MAC5000 / MAC6000
  • Prior:OptiScan Ⅰ、Ⅱ、Ⅲ / ProScan Ⅱ、Ⅲ / ES10ZE
  • Physik Instrumente (PI):piezo E-709 / E-665 / E-662


For other details, please contact us.

Is it possible to provide SDK for MAICO®?

It is available online, please visit: (   

Can I choose any combination of the four wavelength lasers?

You can choose any combination of the four wavelengths, but one of 405 nm or 488 nm must be installed. You cannot install more than two lasers of the same wavelength.

Are there any laser variations other than 405 nm, 488 nm, 561 nm, and 638 nm?

Currently no, however, we may increase should there be a demand for other wavelengths.  

What is the difference in sensitivity between a standard type detector and a high-sensitivity GaAaP type detector?

When comparing the standard type and the high-sensitivity GaAsP type in the 488 nm subunit, about 1.9 times more photoelectrons can be obtained. (EGFP, photosensitive from 510 to 540 nm)
Approximately 2.3 times more photoelectrons can be obtained when comparing the standard type with the high-sensitivity GaAsP type in the 561 nm subunit. (DsRed, 580 to 619 nm photosensitive)
When comparing the standard type with the high-sensitivity GaAsP type in the 638 nm subunit, approximately 2.3 times as many photoelectrons are obtained. (Alexa 647, 660 to 730 nm photosensitive)


*Only standard type detector is available for 405nm subunit. High-sensitivity GaAsP type detector is not available.

Is it possible to replace the standard type detector with a high-sensitivity type detector afterwards?

No. The detector itself cannot be replaced, it would be necessary to replace the subunit.

How can I adjust the size of the pinhole?

The pinhole size can be adjusted in three steps for each subunit: Small, Medium and Large.
The smaller the pinhole size, the higher the resolution but the lower the amount of light detected. On the other hand, when the pinhole size is large, the resolution decreases while the amount of light detected increases.
Due to the balance between the amount of light detected and the resolution, it is recommended to set the pinhole size to Small when the objective lens is 20× to less than 40x, Medium when the objective lens is 40× to 63×, and Large when the objective lens is 64× or more.

Is reflectance confocal imaging available?

Currently only fluorescence imaging is supported.

Is it possible to measure four wavelengths simultaneously?

Yes, it is possible. The software allows you to select either simultaneous multi-wavelength measurement or sequential multi-wavelength measurement.

What is the zoom function?

Zoom is a function that changes the magnification of the output image by changing the scanning range of the optical scanning element.
In general, zooming is expected to improve the resolution.
The actual resolution and magnification of the image depends on the objective lens you use.

What is the size of the output pixel?

It is 6.25 μm when the zoom function is 1×, and 3.125 μm when it is 2× (converted to 1× objective lens).

What is the XYZ resolution of images taken with MAICO?

The following link provides a resolution simulation tool. This software is used to estimate the expected resolution of a confocal measurement with MAICO based on the magnification and numerical aperture (N.A.) of the objective lens used by the customer.


Click here for the Resolution Simulator.

Is FRET imaging possible?

No, it is not suitable for FRET imaging. This is due to the optical path design that realizes simultaneous multi-wavelength observation without crosstalk.

Can it be used for FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching) experiments?

It is not suitable for FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching) experiments.

The main reasons are as follows.

  • The MEMS mirror is a resonant scanner, which means that the laser cannot irradiate a specific area.
  • The laser power is lower than that of a conventional confocal microscope, making it difficult to bleach the fluorescence of the sample.

What is a laser class?

According to international standards, devices equipped with lasers are classified into classes according to their light intensity and wavelength.
The classes range from 1 to 4, and subclasses are added to the alphabet. In general, the higher the class number, the more powerful the laser and the more extensive the protective measures. The largest class is 4, the next weakest is 3B, and the next weakest is 3R.

What are the laser classes of MAICO®?

MAICO® is classified as 3R. Other common confocal laser microscopes are class 3B.

Do I need a laser controlled area when I use MAICO®?

No, it is not necessary.

Is it possible to observe in transmitted light?

Yes, it is possible to obtain transmitted light images using a detector for fluorescence measurement.
The light intensity depends on the transmitted light source.
It is recommended to use MAICO® in "transmitted light mode" for transmitted light observation.


*It is assumed that the sample has sufficient contrast when observed with transmitted light through the eyepiece.

For example, when the adherent cells are confluent, the transmitted light image quality may be poor because of insufficient contrast.

Overview and concept of MAICO.

MAICO®'s superior features, including its subunit structure, are introduced here.

MAICO® enables imaging with reduced bleed-through between wavelengths, which is an issue in multi-wavelength simultaneous observation. We will introduce how we have achieved a reduction of bleed-through.

The MAICO line-up includes units with different wavelengths and sensitivities.

Explanation of the principle of a confocal microscope, which enables you to acquire an image that is less blurry, higher contrast, and higher resolution.

Imaging example videos of MAICO.

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