ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1

Fast, Gentle Multiview Imaging of Large Specimens

Long Term Imaging for Large Samples with Light Sheet Microscopy

Imagine you had access to an imaging system that could deliver optical sections of large samples, with virtually no phototoxicity or bleaching and with high temporal resolution.

That is exactly what Lightsheet Z.1 from ZEISS does. The unique Multiview light sheet fluorescence microscope allows you to record the development of large, living samples and gently image them to deliver exceptionally high information content.

It is also fast: Lightsheet Z.1 is the tool you need to get optical sections at unprecedented speed. Acquire images of your whole sample volume at sub-cellular resolution – in a fraction of the time it takes using other techniques.

Drosophila melanogaster
Octopus bimaculoides
Zebrafish heart development
Drosophila 3D rendering
Marine amphipod embryo

What our customers say

"We are very satisfied with Lightsheet Z.1 microscope. We are developing sample preparation protocols for diverse plant species and materials and successfully use them for long-term imaging of plant development under favourable physiological conditions. We can warmly recommend this instrument to your customers."

Prof. Dr. Jozef Šamaj, Palacký University Olomouc, Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, June 2, 2015


Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy (LSFM) with Lightsheet Z.1

Multiview imaging. Delivering true flexibility.

  • Use Multiview imaging to find the ideal position of your specimen in relation to the axis of the detection optics.
  • Image complete specimens by acquiring complementary information from different views, before recombining them in a straightforward post-processing step.
  • Improve resolution of your processed dataset by recombining information from different views and use a dedicated deconvolution to further improve image quality.

The best of all worlds. Optimized light sheet microscopy optics

  • Shape the illumination light sheet with combined cylindrical optics and a beam scanning mechanism.
  • Rely on specially designed optics and a patented Pivot Scanner to give you the most homogenously illuminated optical section of any LSFM microscope.
  • Protect your sample by using extremely low laser intensities to minimize bleaching.

Fluorescent imaging for large living samples

  • Create Multiview data sets using a new sample positioning approach.
  • Perform experiments with tissue cleared by Scale medium (Hama et al, Nat Neurosci. 2011), with a refractive index of n=1.38, or with aqueous clearing with n=1.45 (e.g.FocusClear™ by CelExplorer Labs)
  • Use the optional trigger interface to maintain physiologically relevant conditions and benefit from the improved combination of image information and control of environmental conditions.


Tissue clearing allows you to image deep into large biological samples such as tissue sections, brains, embryos, organs, spheroids or biopsies. You can use its enhanced optical penetration depth to capture fluorescent signals of whole organs. This makes clearing a promising technique when, for example, investigating neuronal networks in mouse brains.

Lightsheet Z.1 combines the advantages of clearing with light sheet fluorescence microscopy. It lets you image large cleared specimens with exceptional light efficiency, speed and next to no photo damage. Now you can acquire multiple tiles of Z-stacks with several thousand high quality images. A typical imaging speed of 10-40 frames per second reduces your imaging time from hours to minutes.

Use Lightsheet Z.1 with Clr Plan-Apochromat 20x/1.0 Corr nd=1.38 to perform experiments with tissue cleared by Scale medium (Hama et al, Nat Neurosci. 2011), which has a refractive index of n=1.38. If your aqueous clearing medium has a refractive index of n=1.45, you can choose either Clr Plan-Neofluar 20x/1.0 Corr nd=1.45 (optimized for FocusClear™ by CelExplorer Labs, http://www.celexplorer.com, the embedding medium for CLARITY (Chung et al, Nature 2013) or Lightsheet Z.1 detection optics 5x/0.16 to investigate your sample.

The sample holder with its easy-to-access interface gives you the flexibility to adapt the sample mounting to your specific needs. Different adapters will either support your sample from below or let you mount the sample hanging from above: you are always free to choose the perfect viewing angle.

See it for yourself


Mouse hippocampus, optically cleared in LUMOS agent. Data processing and 3D rendering was done with arivis Vision4D™


Mouse brain, optically cleared in LUMOS agent. Stitching and 3D volume rendering was done with arivis Vision4D™


Mouse brain, optically cleared in LUMOS agent. Stitching and 3D volume rendering was done with arivis Vision4D™


A New World of Fluorescence Microscopy

Perform previously impossible experiments

Because Lightsheet Z.1 is the gentlest way to observe the development of living specimens, it opens up a new world of experiments for your research.
These are just some of the light sheet microscopy applications that are now available to you:

  • Morphogenesis and embryogenesis
    Perform fluorescence imaging of spatio-temporal patterns within cells during embryogenesis of model organisms such as zebrafish and Drosophila melanogaster.
  • Organogenesis and cell dynamics
    Fast imaging of cellular dynamics in embryos and small organisms like cell migration, cardiac development, blood flow, vascular development, neuro-development or calcium imaging.
  • 3D cell cultures
    Benefit from live imaging of 3D cell cultures, spheroids and cysts, tissue and organotypic cultures. Use your images to analyse cell migration, expression patterns and cell proliferation.
  • Imaging of Optically Cleared Specimens
    Imaging of fluorescently labeled fixed specimen (tissue sections, mouse brain, embryos, organs, spheroids and biopsies) that are optically cleared with aqueous clearing media of refractive indices n=1.38 or n= 1.45. Optimized for either Scale A2, n=1.38, (Hama et al, Nat Neurosci. 2011) or FocusClear™ (by CelExplorer Labs, http://www.celexplorer.com) n=1.45, the embedding medium for CLARITY (Chung et al, Nature 2013).
  • Plants
    Observe sensitive developmental processes and perform physiological measurements.
  • Imaging of marine organisms
    Use Lightsheet Z.1 for fluorescence imaging of marine organisms such as ciona, squid, plankton and flatworms.
  • Structural features of fluorescently labeled living specimens
    Acquire detailed volume imaging of fixed and living specimens, for example zebrafish and Medaka fish.

3D Imaging

Observe 3D Imaging through Lightsheet Z.1 Technology

Scroll through the playlist to observe the work of scientists who are using Lightsheet Z.1



Fast, Light-Efficient Data Acquisition

Light sheet fluorescence microscopy or LSFM splits fluorescence excitation and detection into two separate light paths, with the axis of illumination perpendicular to the detection axis. That means you illuminate a single thin section of your sample at one time, generating an inherent optical section by exciting only fluorescence from the in-focus plane. No pinhole or image processing is required for light sheet microscopy.

Light from the in-focus plane is collected on the pixels of a camera, rather than pixel by pixel as, for example, in confocal or other laser scanning microscopy approaches. Parallelization of the image collection on a camera-based detector lets you collect images faster and with less excitation light than you would with many other microscope techniques.

In summary, LSFM combines the optical sectioning effect with parallel image acquisition from the complete focal plane. This makes 3D imaging extremely fast and very light efficient.

Watch the Product Trailer


Sample Preparation for Lightsheet Z.1



ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1

Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy for Multiview Imaging of Large Specimens

21 Pages
Filesize: 4,158 kB

Application Note: Improved Imaging of Cleared Samples with ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1

Refractive Index on Demand

7 Pages
Filesize: 664 kB

Application Note: Fast Imaging of Cellular Spheroids with Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy

6 Pages
Filesize: 825 kB

Application Note: Adjusting Refractive Index for Clearing Applications

5 Pages
Filesize: 1,149 kB

Technology Note: Control of External Devices During Time Series Acquisition with ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1

Integration of Daylight Illumination into Time Lapse Experiments

6 Pages
Filesize: 1,862 kB

White Paper: Sample Preparation for Light Sheet Microscopy

Protocols and Guidelines for ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1

34 Pages
Filesize: 1,285 kB

Application Note: Lightsheet.Z1 - Imaging Biological Samples – a Reference List

6 Pages
Filesize: 1,142 kB

Beampath -ZEISS Lightsheet Z.1

Multiview Imaging of Large Specimens

1 Pages
Filesize: 162 kB

Quick Guide: ZEISS ZEN for Lightsheet Z.1 - Interactive Registration

5 Pages
Filesize: 398 kB

Quick Guide: ZEISS ZEN for Lightsheet Z.1 - Multiview Experiments with Groups

5 Pages
Filesize: 416 kB


Photonik international 2013 (2.2 MB)Olaf Selchow, Jan Huisken: Light sheet fluorescence microscopy and revolutionary 3D analyses of live specimens