Navitar Inc. Logo

System Solution Provider

Member Since 2003


Navitar is comprised of a network of companies that design, develop, manufacture and distribute precision optical solutions. Navitar Machine Vision supplies optics, opto-mechanical sub-assemblies and opto-electronic system solutions for machine vision, automation, assembly, electronic imaging, testing, measuring and inspection. Our Special Optics division specializes in rapidly designing, prototyping, and manufacturing innovative optical systems for the medical, defense and security, semiconductor and commercial OEM markets.

Content Filed Under:



Special Optics’ Custom Objectives Aid Nobel Prize Winning Research

POSTED 10/29/2014

rong>Custom 0.65 NA Water Immersion Microscope Objective Lens Used in Bessel Beam Structured Plane Illumination Microscope

ROCHESTER, NY — Special Optics, a Navitar Company, congratulates this year’s recipients of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell, and William E. Moerner, and is excited to have made a small contribution to the ground-breaking research of Eric Betzig and his team at Janelia Research Campus, by collaborating and designing custom precision microscope objective lenses for their novel fluorescence microscopy systems.

Special Optics first began working with Eric Betzig in 2006, the year Janelia Research Campus of Howard Hughes Medical Institute opened and Betzig’s focus was 3D live cell imaging and two-photon plane illumination. Special Optics, a Navitar company, has designed and built numerous custom lenses for the Betzig Lab, including motorized 1-4X beam expanders for correcting aberrations during in vivo imaging and most recently, a high NA water immersion objective lens used for excitation in the Bessel Beam Structured Plane Illumination Microscope.

Scientists using SPIM (selective plane illumination microscopy), LSFM (light sheet fluorescence microscopy), two-photon and PALM (photoactivated localization microscopy) super-resolution fluorescence imaging techniques have identified Special Optics as a respected custom lens design partner. The company’s custom microscope objective lens designs span working distances of 0.3mm to 55 mm, cover wavelengths from visible (390-750 nm) to near infrared (700-1400nm), can be modified for aqueous, oil and vacuum environments; with housings of stainless, ultem or titanium.

“The work and achievements of Betzig, Hell and Moerner, and all researchers world-wide pushing the limits of science to benefit society are to be acknowledged. We are pleased to work with HHMI, Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Stanford University Department of Neurobiology; the Allen Institute for Brain Science, and many other organizations whose focus is the advancement of physics and life sciences research,” comments Jeremy Goldstein, President of Navitar, Special Optics’ parent company.

Noninvasive Imaging beyond the Diffraction Limit of 3D Dynamics in Thickly Fluorescent Specimens
Liang Gao, Lin Shao, Christopher D. Higgins, John S. Poulton, Mark Peifer, Michael W. Davidson, Xufeng Wu, Bob Goldstein, Eric Betzig.


Video taken with HHMI coherent structured light sheet microscope using Special Optics’ custom 0.65 NA objective shows orthogonal volume rendered maximum intensity projection views of the actin assembly proteins PI3K and LimE in a single dicty cell. CREDIT: Bi-Chang Chen & Eric Betzig, Janelia Farm; Chris Janetopoulos, Vanderbilt.

Video taken with the Bessel microscope in the structured illumination mode showing 3D arrangement of chromosomes and microtubules at several points during cell division. Credit: Liang Gao and Eric Betzig, Janelia Farm.

About Special Optics
For over 40 years, Navitar’s Special Optics division has been dedicated to rapidly designing, prototyping, and
manufacturing innovative and high-performance optical systems. Our expertise includes femtosecond laser
beam management optics for corneal repair (LASIK) and laser cataract eye surgery, laser optics for DNA
sequencing, high numerical aperture imaging objectives for medical and life science applications, long-range surveillance lenses for homeland security and defense applications, and complex electro-optical systems for semiconductor and industrial OEM applications.

About Navitar, Inc.
Navitar produces high-magnification imaging optics, precision laser optical assemblies, and custom microscopy systems for a variety of automated medical and biotechnology processes including flow cytometry, live cell analysis, fluorescence imaging, DNA sequencing, in vitro fertilization, stem cell imaging, and two-photon microscopy. Navitar’s micro-imaging optics provide the same high-quality, high-magnification images of traditional microscopes while enabling leading equipment manufacturers to develop lower cost, more compact, and higher performing medical instruments.

Vision in Life Sciences This content is part of the Vision in Life Sciences curated collection. To learn more about Vision in Life Sciences, click here.