Microinjection

Microinjection is a method for mechanically injecting cells, genetic material, peptides, drugs, or other exogenous agents directly into cells or tissues using a very small pipette. Conversely, material may also be removed from the sample (e.g., enucleation of cells). Microinjection has numerous research and clinical applications, including transfection of cells via DNA injection, fertilization by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), introduction of genetically engineered embryonic stem cells into a blastocyst, and more.

Products for Microinjection

The ECLIPSE Ti2 Series of inverted microscopes are suitable for various microinjection applications. Micromanipulator/microinjector options from different third-party manufacturers are compatible with the Ti2. Intermediate magnification can be applied within the Ti2 microscope body (1.5X and 2.0X available) for detailed imaging using low magnification objective lenses. Various long working distance condenser options are available that don’t interfere with micromanipulation equipment.

The ECLIPSE Ts2R and Ts2R-FL inverted microscopes can also be equipped for microinjection, but feature a more compact body that fits well in biosafety cabinets and other tight spaces. The Ts2R-FL model additionally provides widefield epifluorescence using built-in LED light sources.

The SMZ25 and SMZ18 stereomicroscopes can also be equipped for microinjection work. The SMZ25 features a 25:1 zoom range and the SMZ18 an 18:1 range, making detailed visualization of single cells possible.

●: included, ⚬: option

ECLIPSE Ti2 Series
Inverted Microscopes
ECLIPSE Ts2R and Ts2R-FL
Inverted Microscopes
SMZ18/SMZ25
Stereomicroscopes
Micromanipulator Compatibility yes yes yes
Camera Integration yes yes yes
Illumination Source LED or Halogen LED LED or Halogen
Thermal Control Availability yes yes yes
Supported Contrast Techniques ECLIPSE Ti2 Series ECLIPSE Ts2R and Ts2R-FL SMZ18/SMZ25
Brightfield yes yes yes
Darkfield yes no yes
Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) yes yes no
Widefield Fluorescence yes Ts2R-FL yes
Nikon Advanced Modulation Contrast (NAMC) yes yes no
Nikon Emboss Contrast no yes no
Oblique Coherent Contrast (OCC) no no yes
Phase Contrast yes yes no
Spindle Observation no yes no
Volume Contrast Ti2-E no no

Discussion of Microinjection

The importance of system stability for microinjection

Microinjection is a precision task where sub-micrometer level differences in position can make the difference between success and failure. For example, transfection by microinjection of cells with DNA coding for a given construct (such as a fluorescent protein fusion chimera) can have a different success rate depending on if the DNA was injected into the nucleus rather than the cytoplasm, where it is vulnerable to DNase enzyme activity.

Nikon’s ECLIPSE Ti2 and ECLIPSE Ts2R series of inverted microscopes, and SMZ18/25 stereomicroscopes, are stable and vibration-resistant systems that can be used for microinjection work.

Environmental control for sensitive model systems

Biological models, whether they be single cells, tissues, or whole organisms, are sensitive to changes in environmental conditions. For this reason, a heating plate or similar apparatus is used to maintain the appropriate temperature and ensure the physiological integrity of your system.

Further Information on Microinjection and Microscopy

If you would like to learn more about Nikon solutions for micromanipulation/microinjection in the field of assisted reproduction technology (ART), please visit our page here.

Glossary

Camera Integration
Nikon provides a variety of camera options, including fast color and monochrome CMOS options.
Illumination Source
Illumination sources for transmitted light-based contrast techniques are most often either light emitting diodes (LEDs) or halogen lamps. LEDs are a bright, eco-friendly, and more energy efficient choice.
Micromanipulator Compatibility
Micromanipulation is required for control and positioning of micropipettes.
Supported Contrast Techniques
In addition to standard brightfield microscopy, it may be necessary to apply other contrasting techniques depending on the sample and application.
Thermal Control Availability
Temperature regulation is important for cell health. Nikon offers a variety of both stage-top and holding area thermal regulators.