BLM Workstations
Video-BLM Systems -- Video-Setup for Horizontal BLM -- Video fluorescence BLM System.



Researchers interested to work on planar phospholipid bilayers (BLM) facing a difficult task of assembling an experimental setup from many pieces of electronic, mechanical and optical equipment.  Eastern Scientific is offering a line of products that can be integrated into complete system for BLM experiments.  Your can get everything you need for less than $2000*  For those who have little or no experience with BLM we suggest relatively simple Basic BLM Systam shown in the photograph below.
*  Basic configuration: BVS-130C rig, BLM Cell, Amplifier, Electrodes.  Some assembly required. Recording device (Computer interface, chart recorder, etc) not included. If magnetic stirrer is required we recommend MS-21 model with RH-12M or RH-25 RSSM. If standard air table is not available, VIS-xx antivibration stands are highly recommended.
Video-Setup for Vertical BLM
Our basic setup for video microscopy of BLMs includes the following components:
1. Metal Enclosure (FC-38A or FC-38C Faraday Cage), H-28 x W-28 x L-38 cm (11" x 11" x 15") is assembled from aluminum (A) or Composite (C - aluminum foil over expanded plastic) panels and mounted on a solid aluminum base plate.  Two doors can be widely open and side panels can be completely removed during preparations for the experiment or closed for maximum screening of electromagnetic interference.  This enclosure can be used for a variety of electrophysiological application other than BLM.  If you plan to add a lot of your own components to the system, we recommend upgrade with optional Bench Plate that has a number of treaded holes on a square patern (Metric or English).  These bases ensure great flexibility for installing additional components.
2. Mounting hardware for amplifier headstage.
3. Mounting hardware for two syringes. Syringes are mounted under the base plate and used for injecting solution into BLM cell as required for making "solvent free" membranes.
4. Video microscope which include video camera* and 4X, 0.1 NA achromatic lens with ~14 mm w.d.  Overall magnification depends on the size of a video monitor and is about 250X for 12" monitor screen. Higher magnification/resolution can be easily achieved with more powerful lenses.  Camera system is mounted on a linear positioner with 15+ mm travel along X axis.
5. Illumination system consisting of a LED based light source and mounting hardware.
6. BLM cell positioner. Equipped with cell holder for either BC-20 or BC-30 BLM cells.  Has 15+ mm travel along Y axis, and 10+ mm along Z axis.
7. Power supply for video camera and light source.
PART NUMBER: BVS-138XY or BVS-138XY (here and further XY stands for: X- enclosure material, Y - type of video camera. When ordering, please substitute X with A for aluminum or C for composite; Y with B for B/W analog video or U for USB color computer camera*.  Those are standard options.  If you need something special like higher resolution camera or enclosure with extra thermal insulation please contact us for a quote).

    A compact version of this rig is also available (shown above right with walls removed).  Includes same component as standard one but placed inside 6" high enclosure mounted on 8"x12" base (15x20x30 cm).  Despite small size this system is very convenient and easy in use.  Top cover connected to rear wall with a long hinge, front and two side walls are easily removable. If space is limited BVS-130XY is a solution.


Video-Setup for Horizontal BLM

For those who work with horizontal BLMs we have designed video microscopy system that is significantly more convenient than rigs build around a regular inverted microscope. It includes the following components:
1. Faraday Cage (FC-30C with BP-2030 base plate).
2. Inverted video microscope which include video camera* and 4X, 0.1 NA achromatic lens. Overall magnification depends on the size of a video monitor and is about 250X for 12" monitor screen. Higher magnification/resolution can be achieved with more powerful objective lenses.
3. Illumination system consisting of a LED light source and mounting hardware.
4. Mounting hardware for amplifier headstage.
5. Holder for BCH-1A cell with mounting hardware that allow +/- 3 mm  X-Y and +/-5 mm Z axis (height)  adjustment.
6. Two electrode holders.
7. Power supply for video camera and light source.
 PART NUMBER: BVH-130XY

 


Video fluorescence BLM System.
FVS-160 optical system shown here (with enclosure removed) is designed for most advanced studies on planar lipid bilayers (BLM).  Left side of the photograph above is similar to introduced earlier BVS typr video BLM system, and used for membrane observation in transmitted light.  Right side is a custom made fluorescent microscope.  This system allows combined electrical and high resolution optical measurements of membrane parameters.  Like other BLM setups, it is assembled on a solid aluminum base plate providing great flexibility and easiness in installing additional components.  Setup includes:
1.  Beamsplitter system with precision stage mechanism for high power objective lens (Fig.1).
 
 

Fig.1

2.  Arc lamp housing and mounting hardware.
3.  Linear low interference arc lamp power supply. (PS-100B)
4.  Aluminum enclosure (Faraday cage).
5.  12"x24" (or 12"x30") base plate with treaded (1/4-20 tpi) holes.
6.  Four rubber foam or sorbotane anti vibration legs.
7. Video-camera mounting hardware.

Other components are almost identical to used in BVS-1XX rig and include:
1. Mounting hardware for amplifier headstage.
2. Mounting hardware for two syringes.
3. Video microscope (Fig. 2) which include video camera* and 4X, 0.1 NA, 14 mm w.d. achromatic lens.  Overall magnification depends on the size of a video monitor (not included) and is about 250X for 12" monitor screen. Higher magnification/resolution can be easily achieved with more powerful lenses.  Camera system is mounted on a linear positioner with 15+ mm travel along X axis.**

Fig.2
4. Power supply for CCD video camera.
5. BLM cell positioner (Fig.3). Equipped with cell holder for 20 mm wide BLM cells. Allows cell to be moved 15+ mm along Y axis, and 10+ mm along Z axis.
  Fig.3
We also offering a simplified and less expensive version of this setup, FVS-138XY, FVS-138XY .  In this modification, video microscope shown in Fig. 2, is replaced with LED based light source.  It allows to use one optical system for both bright field membrane observation, and for fluorescent microscopy.   In most cases the only inconvenience of this configuration is the absence of low magnification of BLM imaging during BLM formation.

Some components required for these setups need to be purchased separately:
1.  25 mm diameter excitation and emission filters.
2.  20x28 dichroic beamsplittter.
3.  High power objective lens.
4.  HBO-100 arc lamp*.
5.  Intensified CCD camera.
*  If you will be using 100W mercury arc lamp.  Other lamps may require housing modifications and power supply from other source.
PART NUMBER: FVS-160XY or FVS-138XY


* - Two standard camera options are available (Same price): 1. 1/3" CCD size format (510x492 pixel sensor), monochrome (RS-170 video format) TV camera with 0.1 Lux sensitivty.  2. 1.3 MP  (1280 x 960  pixel sensor) Win/Mac compatible color USB camera.  With option 1 you will need a video monitor that can be either professional B/W monitor or any TV set that have a video input.  Option 2 require a computer with USB port available.  In terms of image quality, the difference is minimal.  However, if you plan to do something more than just observing BLM formation, please make a note that B/W camera is faster and more light sensitive than color one.  


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BLMrigs.html  Date of latest modification: 8-20-2014