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The Focht Chamber System 2 (FCS2®) is a closed system, live-cell micro-observation chamber that utilized several patented technologies that offer several exclusive advantages over other chambers. In addition to its uniform temperature control and user-definable perfusion capability, it is fully compatible with all modes of microscopy. The chamber is adaptable to the protocol instead of having to adapt the protocol to the chamber.

FCS2 users enjoy the following characteristics:

  • Easy no tools needed assembly
  • Compatibility with all modes of microscopy
  • Complete control of the volume within the optical cavity
  • Complete control of the separation between optical surfaces
  • Complete control of the shape or profile of the flow channel
  • Complete control of the temperature uniformly across the entire field
  • Compatible with inverted microscopes
live-cell micro-observation chamber
flow cell fcs2 chamber bioptechs

The FCS2 flow chamber components:

  1. Electrical Enclosure
    Can also be detached to sterilize the perfusion tubes
    Temperature sensor
    Heater contacts
  2. Upper Half (Top)
    Contains the perfusion tubes
  3. Perfusion Tubes (14 gauge) (CO2 Perfusion Drawing)
  4. Upper Gasket
  5. Microaqueduct Slide
    An optical surface which integrates perfusion and temperature control
    High-volume laminar flow
    Koehler Illumination
    Electronically conductive coating for temperature control
  6. Singular lower gasket
    This gasket can have any internal geometry you desire
    Standard thicknesses from .1mm to 1mm
    Allows you to define the volume and flow characteristics of the chamber
  7. 40mm coverslip
    Surface where your cells are grown
  8. Self locking base
    Designed to assure parallel uniform closure, eliminate leaks, & broken coverslips
    Temperature controlled
    Dovetail mounted to scope for stability
    No tools for assembly

Items 5,6 & 7 are the optical cavity, the gasket (#6) can be changed to any one to make any flow geometry, or media volume you want. The coverslip comes in a standard 0.17mm, #1.5 thickness but is also available in 0.5mm, #5 coverslip.

Cells are grown on a 40mm glass coverslip. This coverslip is then incorporated into a perfusable fluid optical cavity that is compatible with all modes of microscopy, and its geometry can be easily defined by the user. This optical cavity is secured into a fixture on the stage of the microscope where it can be perfused with media or remain static. Media that comes into one of the ports on the side of the chamber, emerges in a fluid optical path where the media is precisely directed over the cells. The media is collected within the optical cavity and directed out of the chamber on the other side.

Microaqueduct Perfusion: uniform laminar flow perfusion in the whole chamber

A fluid pathway is formed by separating the Microaqueduct Slide (3) from the coverslip (1) containing cells with a single silicone gasket (2). This gasket (2) can be any thickness from 50 micron to 1mm and any lateral geometry you choose or create. This arrangement allows the user to define the flow characteristics. Therefore, you are not limited by the geometry of the optical cavity. Instead you select or create it! Fluid access to this flow channel is made through two 14-gauge needle stock tubes protruding from the sides of the chamber top. These tubes provide fluid connection to two perfusion holes in the Microaqueduct Slide that interface two “T” shaped grooves cut into the inner surface of the Microaqueduct Slide. The “T” groove allows the media to seek the path of least resistance and become nearly laminar before flowing across the cells. This technique eliminates the need for the metal perfusion ring and additional gaskets, which are the limiting factors, required by most conventional chambers.

Isometric View of Optical Cavity
Microaqueduct Perfusion

Singular lower gasket: Find the gasket that meets your experiment requirements

By simply changing this one gasket you can change the volume of the chamber. This gasket can have any internal geometry you desire and can be any thickness from 0.1mm to 1mm. The geometry of the gasket allows to constrain the flow of media to a precise location over the cells. Blank, rectangle and round gaskets are standard geometries but the gasket can be customized to fit to your application.

The FCS2 was designed to maintain accurate thermal control. The flow cell can be cooled down or heated up from 0 – 58 C with less than 0.2 C variance and integrated intelligent feedback loop for external temperature variables. Temperature variations can be set and synchronized with imaging or perfusion via TTL signaling.

The surface of the Microaqueduct Slide, opposite the specimen side, is coated with an electrically conductive transparent thin film of Indium-Tin Oxide (ITO) and two electrical contacts (busbars). When the FCS2 is completely assembled two electrical contacts, which are contained in the electrical enclosure rest on the busbars. A temperature controller is used to pass a regulated current flow through the ITO Coating. This causes the surface of the slide to heat. The heat is transferred through the perfusable media to the cell surface on the coverslip thereby providing first surface thermal control. The self-locking base of the chamber is also temperature regulated to provide peripheral heat as well.

uniform temperature distribution of an FCS

This thermographic image demonstrates the uniform temperature distribution of an FCS2. Notice that the coverslip temperature is so uniform that its location, in infrared, is indistinguishable from the base of the chamber. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the ITO heated Microaqueduct Slide. It is capable of re-equilibrating cell temperature within seconds of perfusion and eliminates the typical thermal gradient that occurs with peripheral heating.

The Bioptechs FCS2 Stage Adapter interfaces the microscope stage with the FCS2 chamber.

If you do not see a stage adapter that will fit your stage, reach out. Bioptechs is always adding to its catalog of stage geometries and specifications.

Standard stage adapters available:

F2 – K stage adapter  

F2 – K stage adapter  (160 x 110mm)

NODR – Round Olympus / Nikon

NODR – Round Olympus / Nikon Stage adapter (110mm / 108mm Round)

F2 SBS 4

SBS – 127.5mm x 85.5mm 96 Well plate / SBS / SLAS sized adapter for the FCS2


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