For interaction with a microscope sample, the micromanipulator has been a staple of the biologists toolkit from the beginning of the 20th century.
Used for holding, injecting or cutting, the precision of the micromanipulator’s motion has always been paramount. So many leading researchers, including Dr Robert Chambers and Sir Andrew Huxley, worked on improving the mechanics of these systems over the years.
These early devices relied on adjustment of the individual axes by hand, but by the 1950’s De Fonbrune had developed a pneumatic micromanipulator that allowed all three axes to be operated via a joystick-like controller.
Depending on the application, researchers might need different movement ranges and resolutions, speeds and accuracy; so ranges of micromanipulators are available of different constructions to suit.
Siskiyou Corporation offer mechanical, hydraulic, and electronically-controlled motor adjusted systems.
The latter micromanipulators are fully CE-certified and are now on sale to UK and Irish researchers. Models available include:
MX1641 Series – ideal for introductory level research and training
This crossed roller micromanipulator uses spring-loaded lead screws on three axes to ensure drift-free operation, and a motorised probe axis delivering up to 0.1 µm movement resolution.
MX7600 Series – ideal for patch recording experiments
A fully motorised crossed roller bearing micromanipulator offering exceptionally smooth linear travel via its precision preloaded lead screws to ensure drift-free operation and up to 0.1 µm movement resolution.
MX7800 Series – ideal for multiple patch-recording experiments
This variant of MX7600 series uses a new folded Y-axis stage that narrows the footprint of the manipulator by half. This design enables the mounting of as many as six micromanipulators in a semicircle from side to side around the front of a microscope.
PS. Micromanipulators can also be useful for holding tools and probes while examining microelectronics under a microscope!