We design the most sophisticated optics, mechanics, and software to create one microscope built for the sole purpose of in vivo brain imaging with unrivaled signal detection.   Real time processing and parallelization of data flow are achieved using the latest advances in Programmable System-on-Chip and GPU-CPU frameworks.

Importantly, we also run our own laboratories.  We know that all of this technology isn't worth much if students and postdocs cannot use it.  That's why we make everything user friendly and we provide a host of powerful analytical tools and live consultation to get even first year students up and running fast.  


The only system optimized from first principles.  Get the basic system, we'll install it all and customize it to your needs.


We've added 3D-2P optogenetics, rapid Z-scanning, and custom wide FOV objectives for the next decade of experiments.


Intuitive to use, open, extendable, with a host of analytical tools built in. 


We build it.  We support it.  Stay current with hardware and software updates.



125 gigasamples per second at 14 bit depth.  4 channels.  We trigger the digitizer off of every single laser pulse.


In order to digitize at 80MHz, we need to use amplifiers with the bandwidth to handle this speed.  These Femto DHPCA-100 amplifiers are up to the task.  Unrivaled speed and signal.


We use a Cambridge 6215H galvo scanner and Cambridge CRS 8K resonant scanner.  Providing 30 fps imaging.  Scan parameters, such as zoom, field size, and scan rate are controlled in our software.


Our Z-max designed collection path is the widest on the market.  At resonant scan rates, laser dwell time is low, and emission photons become very precious.  Capture them all with our 2" diameter collection path.


We use the most sensitive PMTs on the market: Hamamatsu H11706-40 GaAsP PMTs, which have a 135 degree angle of acceptance.  These PMTs can be gated within 400 nanoseconds and are ideal for experiments combining ontogenetic stimulation with calcium imaging.


Use any lens you like!  Our microscope will work with any lens on the market, including the new Olympus lenses optimized for Clarity.  We can fill any size back aperture and collect all of the light.


Optotune electrically focus-tunable lens for fast, inertialess z-focus.


Monitor behaviour, running, pupil.


The best modulators on the market

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Optimized Path

Modeled and optimized scan and detection paths.  Back-aperture conjugated detection for maximum scattered light detection for 10X-40X objectives.  Standard systems ship with two detection channels, and a computer controlled path switch for an included camera and optional epifluorescence path.  Light-sealed for visual stimulus and behavior.

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Adjust height manually without adjusting alignment along a high-carbon steel rail. Motorized XYZ-theta translation is controlled via a rotary interface, with an envelope of 100mm in all directions and +/- 60 degree angle

2P Optogenetics

Designed for all-optical interrogation of neural circuits.  Optogenetically drive membrane currents with exquisite control.


New For 2017

4mm field of view, galvo-galvo-resonant scope for imaging multiple fields of view with cellular resolution


Bi-directional 30Hz scanning

True 30Hz scanning with accurate, real time line alignment.  In other systems, they make you use post-processing software to flip all of the lines in the image generated during mirror flyback.  Not ours. We take care of this in real time. 


Track running and pupil diameter

Its clear that neural activity is impacted by behavioral state.  We have already integrated the imaging hardware and software needed to record and analyze running speed and pupil diameter.  Of course, these data are all precisely time stamped.  


Meet Knobby

Knobby is a four-axis rotary motion control surface with touch screen display for hands free control of motion in a format familiar to electrophysiologists.

Fast Z-Scanning 

Image a volume, or, in preparations where brain pulsation is large (carnivores and primates, for example), use fast Z-scanning to compensate for radial motion.  View multiple planes of data in real


All time stamps handled on the same clock

TTL events are time-stamped by the card by assigning them the (frame,line) pair at which they occurred.  TTL lines can be programmed to detect rising/falling edges or both. These data are saved along with the entire state of the microscope (including position, gains of PMTs, laser wavelength, etc) in a Matlab file.

Real time motion stabilization

Real time image stabilization, even during running, eliminates motion artifact in your live signal readout.  This makes closed loop experiments work that much better.


Online analysis

Track the activity of dozens of neurons in real time.  Use this information to control stimulus generation and presentation in real time.  Use these signals to generate 1p or 2p optogenetic stimulation signals or trigger behavior.

Hackable, compatible, extendable

Use Matlab, Python, or general memory mapped file data exchange to control ScanBox or exchange signals.  Pipe your data over the network or to a cluster.  Full set of software, network, and hardware triggering and I/O. Use the Matlab plugin system to develop your own visualization tools.

And much more...

We maintain an active blog that keeps users up to date on the latest advances in our software and hardware.  Its a great place to learn about the platform and to post questions.  And, of course, we are always happy to take an email from you with any questions.



We come to your lab, unpack, assemble, align, test, re-test, and verify every single component and signal before signing off on your microscope.  If you have a mouse ready, we will even run an experiment, collect some data, and show you how to align the images, find your cells, pull out the signals, and quantify your data.  We are active scientists using this same microscope every day in our own labs.  We live for this stuff.  


Run into a problem after we leave?  No problem at all.  We install TeamViewer software on your computer, which lets us remotely log in.  Is Matlab throwing some error messages?  We can see them on your screen and actually fix the code in real time!  Do your images seem dimmer than usual?  No worries!  If you have a phone with a wifi connection and a camera, we will gladly video chat and find the problem in any part of the optical path.  Maybe its the electronics?  If so, we'll figure that out fast!  How?  We design and build every aspect of your scope.  We've seen every conceivable problem and know how to solve them.  



Full specifications


100mm XYZ translation in moveable microscope configuration

300mm coarse Z adjustment, locking translation rail and gas spring microscope support.

Motorized objective lens rotation integrated, +/- 60 degrees, 360 degrees with manual adjustment

8kHz resonant raster scanning with selectable lines per frame, 512 lines @ 30Hz bidirectional.  Computer optimized optics.  1x, 2x, and 4x magnification scan settings.  1mm FOV with 16X 0.8NA

Filling and optimization for large back aperture objectives

2 GaAsP detection channels standard, up to 4 possible.

Camera/PMT port switch including epifluorescence and integrated camera

Modular and upgradeable, integrated eye and treadmill tracking

400um Z-scanning @ 10Hz with electrically tunable lens

Dell acquisition computer, server grade with Windows 7/10 and remote support

Cambridge Technology CRS8 8KHz resonant scanning mirror with driver board

Cambridge Technology 6215H galvanometer scanning mirror with servo driver board       

Optotune and SLM compatible bracket and scanbox mechanical components, Optotune electrically tunable lens integration

Custom controller circuit board with PSoC chip. Handles all microscope control.  100mm XYZ microscope translation stages in moveable microscope configuration.  Electronics include 1U rackmountable motion controller, and microscope mounted electronics enclosure

Full 2 inch collection optics, computer optimized scanning and detection optics for excitation and scattered light detection

785nm LWP, 562nm LWP, 510/84 bandpass, 607/70 bandpass, 750 SWP       

Motion control electronics and rotary control surface included          

Table optics included for coupling laser and microscope

Allied Vision 1" GigE Vision port camera

Conoptics Pockels Cell including 302RM driver and model 350-80-LA EO modulator           

Laser shutter unit

Epifluorescence port camera path integrating 470nm or broadband LED and swappable filter cubes

Femto amplifiers

Dell Precision Tower 7910 or equivalent

ATS9440-003 14 bit, 125MS/s, 4ch. 8-lane PCIe digitizer

Behavior monitoring including Dalsa M1280 CCD pupil camera and Dalsa M640 CCD treadmill camera and optics



Laser and pockels cell (power) control

PMT gain and camera path switch control

Motion control and hardware usb control surface (Neurolabware ‘Knobby’)

Matlab environment, plugin system and extendable

API for remote microscope and software control

Stream data across applications with memory mapped files


Included data analysis pipeline

Online analysis via GPU, including image stabilization, aided segmentation and live ROI traces

Trigger input and output, hardware or software, and via network (UDP)

Frame synchronous eye and treadmill tracking, and behavior synchronization input TTL bits per pixel and per frame, logged with acquisition metadata

All features documented at scanbox.wordpress.com



Computer and monitor, 110/220V

Laser connection (USB), Knobby (USB), Motion control (USB, 110/220V @ 1A fused) and ScanBox electronics (USB, 110/220V @ 1A fused)

For behavior cameras, port camera, 110/220V to 12V adapter, GigE gigabit ethernet

Pockels cell driver, 110 or 220V jumper configured

Laser shutter, epifluorescence LED driver, 110/220V DC adapters


Laser signal amplifier, configured as necessary at installation

Installation and Technical Support

Manual and documentation available at www.neurolabware.com and scanbox.wordpress.com

Email and facetime support, TeamViewer remote login support

Service visits when necessary

On-site installation and training