Confocal Microscope

How Confocal Microscopy Works & How We Save You Time & Money

Here are the advantages of Excedr’s confocal microscope leasing program:

  • Eliminates the upfront cost of buying equipment by leasing and lets you enjoy the benefits of having manageable payments over time instead
  • Payments may be 100% tax deductible*, which yields you significant cash-savings
  • It costs less to lease through our program than to purchase outright
  • Equipment downtime is minimized with our repair coverage
  • The administrative work associated with instrument procurement and maintenance is completed by us
  • With the cash saved through our program, labs are better able to reinvest in their core business and operations (staffing, inventory, marketing/sales, etc.)

*Please consult your tax advisor to determine the full tax implications of leasing equipment.

Excedr can source all equipment types and can accommodate any model preferences your lab might have. Request a quote today and see how a lease can discount your confocal microscope price.

All equipment brands/models are available


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Microscopy is a field of study that focuses on looking at objects that are too small to be seen unassisted by humans, with a microscope. The main branches of microscopy are optical, scanning probe, and electron. Specifically, optical microscopes utilize light and lenses to magnify objects. Light is directed either to or through the object and the image is transferred either directly to the eye, imaged onto a photographic plate, or digitally analyzed. The most simple type of optical microscopes use one lens, but more complex microscopes use multiple lenses. Similarly, the most common type of light used in optical microscopes is visible light, however, different spectrums of light can also be used.

One such example would be fluorescence microscopy, an optical microscopy technique that uses fluorescence as the light source. In fluorescence microscopy, the sample is tagged with fluorophores only in the interested area. The object is then exposed to electromagnetic radiation of a specific wavelength that excites the fluorophores causing them to fluoresce. This fluorescence is then captured by sensors and imaged, leaving out any part of the object that is not fluorescing.

As useful as fluorescence microscopy is, its major limitation lies in the fact that when a portion of the sample is tagged, that entire area will fluoresce equally. The fluorescence from the surface of the thick sample would be indistinguishable from the background fluorescence. This makes it difficult to observe anything about a material’s surface and the resulting image would appear unfocused.

Confocal microscopy is an optical microscopy technique that uses lasers as the excitation source and pinhole spatial filters to solve the issues with fluorescence microscopy while increasing resolution and contrast of the image. By focusing the laser on specific parts of the material, only those specific parts will fluoresce. This excited fluorescence then is picked up by a detector. In front of the detector is the pinhole filter that eliminates the out-of-focus signal. This out-of-focus elimination is where confocal microscopes get their name. Confocal microscopes have a shallow depth of field and collect optical sections from thick specimens. They are used extensively in biology, inspection of semiconductors, and material science.

Confocal Microscopy Techniques, Variations, & Costs

Laser Scanning (CLSM)
Imaging of a sample’s surface provides a lot of information about that object but does not provide a detailed picture of the entire object. Confocal laser scanning microscopes (CLSM) are able to provide 3D reconstructions of a sample. CLSM adds optical sectioning to standard or wide-field confocal microscopy by allowing for depth selectivity. This is done by passing the laser beam through a light source aperture that allows for depth selectivity. Multiple depths of the object can then be imaged and each depth’s images can be stitched together to achieve a true 3D rendering of the specimen. This imaging technique is also known as optical sectioning.

Spinning Disc (SDCLM)
Due to the multiple layers that are needed to be imaged in CLSM, it is required that the sample remains still, which is relatively time-consuming. Spinning disk laser confocal laser microscopy (SDCLM) is able to mitigate these shortcomings by using multiple pinholes to project multiple parallel excitation light beams. These pinholes are arranged on a rotating Nipkow disk that is located within the microscope plane. Due to the spinning of the disk and the multiple pinholes used, images can be captured at a rate of thousands per second. One disadvantage to this, however, is that due to the holes being larger, the images obtained cannot block out as much background fluorescent light and the result is not as detailed.

Programmable Array Microscopy (PAM)
PAM utilizes a similar methodology to SDCLM but is able to have programmable pinholes. It uses a digital micromirror device that is used as a spatial light modulator. This allows that user to tune their microscope light source to match the specific experimental parameters that they are looking at. The microscope can be changed quickly if the experimental conditions require it. The major advantages that PAM has over other confocal microscopy techniques are that it is controlled by software, has no moving parts, and offers complete flexibility in its lighting and detection methods.

Serotonin & Decision Making
Serotonin, one of the better-known neurochemicals, contributes to ones well being and happiness, however, it may also be vital to understanding how our brains function in more extreme conditions. Recent researchers found that serotonin levels may vary depending on the specific emergency situation that an animal is in. For example, if a mouse is in an exposed field and a hawk is diving down to eat it, the fight-or-flight response kicks in and tells the mouse to run. If however, that same mouse sees the hawk first and the hawk is unaware of the mouse, the more appropriate response is to freeze. Researchers have found that serotonin neurons trigger escape mechanisms in events of high danger. In lower danger environments, these same neurons trigger a pausing reaction. If true, this discovery could completely change how we view our brains during these emergency situations. 

Observing these types of reactions is not easy and requires highly accurate and powerful microscopes. Confocal laser scanning microscopes aid researchers in imaging and understanding how these neurons are triggered and work. Whatever type of confocal microscope your lab needs, acquiring it should be easy! With Excedr’s confocal microscope leasing program, you can finance your new microscope responsibly while avoiding the burden of purchasing outright.

We Offer Real-Time Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope Leases to Fit Every Need

Operating Lease

This off-balance sheet financing structure provides three options at the end of the term. The lessee has the option to return the equipment to the lessor, renew at a discounted rate, or purchase the instrument for the fair market value. Monthly payments are also 100% tax deductible which yields additional monetary savings.

Sale Leaseback

If you recently bought equipment, Excedr can offer you cash for your device and convert your purchase into a long-term rental. This is called a sale leaseback. If you’ve paid for equipment within the last ninety days, we can help you recoup your investment and allow you to make low monthly payments. This also frees up money in your budget rather than tying it down to a fixed asset.

  • Zeiss
    Smartproof 5, LSM 9 Family, LSM 900, LSM 980, LSM 900 with Airyscan 2, LSM 980 with Airyscan 2
    Super-resolution: Elyra 7
  • Olympus
    FV3000, IXplore Spin
    Super-Resolution: IXplore SpinSR
  • Nikon
    A1 HD25, A1R HD25, C2+, CSU series, CSU-X1, CSU-W1, CSU-W1 SoRa
    Super-Resolution: N-SIM S, N-SIM E, N-STORM
  • Bruker: Opterra II
  • Keyence: VK-X Series, VK-X1000
  • Andor: Dragonfly Models, Dragonfly 200, Dragon 500
  • Aurox: Unity, Clarity Devices, Clarity HS, Clarity
  • Molecular Devices: ImageXpress Confocal
  • and more!


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Effect on Credit & Operating Capital

Leasing/renting does not hinder your future borrowing ability and allows you to keep your business credit line open for expansions, staffing, and other operational expenses. Additionally, it strengthens the cash flow of your business and keeps cash reserves free for business development opportunities.

Used Equipment

Unlike traditional financing and leasing companies, the Excedr program can accommodate refurbished/reconditioned equipment in addition to demo units. If you are looking for additional cost-savings, we recommend considering this option.

Speed of Approval

Excedr’s program allows you to respond quickly as your need for equipment and technology arises. You can be approved with minimal documentation and have the equipment you need in operation and generating revenue for your business quickly.


If you’re looking to acquire new equipment, be it a CLSM or leasing a multiphoton microscope our program can help you. Get in touch with us at +1(510) 982-6552 or fill out our contact form above and we can discuss your needs in depth .