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  4. MiCAM ULTIMA: Overview

MiCAM ULTIMA was discontinued. Next model MiCAM05 is now released.

Cardiac Imaging MiCAM ULTIMA


MiCAM ULTIMA is a CMOS based camera that optimizes high speeds, high resolution, and high signal to noise ratios. It is designed to detect very small changes in fluorescent light levels of biological samples that are stained with fluorescence probes such as voltage-sensitive dyes or calcium indicators.


MiCAM ULTIMA is the latest CMOS imaging system that has made ideal advances with regards to super high-speed performance and optimal S/N ratios. It is based on previous models of the MiCAM series. This imaging system is the premier high-end model of the MiCAM series developed by BrainVision Inc., which has substantial experience in the design of extremely fast and highly sensitive imaging systems.

The unique and highly customized CMOS sensor has achieved a high-speed image acquisition rate of up to 10,000 frames/second and a quantum efficiency of 60% resulting in a dynamic range of 70db or more. High-speed imaging with voltage-sensitive dyes is one of the most difficult fluorescence imaging applications. However, the Ultima CMOS image sensor is easily capable of measuring fluorescence changes with voltage sensitive dyes at optimal S/N ratios.


Single Acquisition at Maximum Frame Rate of 0.1msec/frame (10KHz) and Spatial Resolution of 100x100 pixels

Action potential propagation of guinea pig isolated heart
(Provided by Dr. Guy Salama and Dr. Bum-Rak Choi, University of Pittsburgh)

In the past, CCD cameras and photodiode arrays have been widely used to do cardiac mapping using voltage-sensitive dyes. CCD cameras have high spatial resolution, but also have relatively low temporal resolution. On the other hand, photodiode arrays have relatively high temporal resolution but insufficient spatial resolution.

The CMOS image sensor with its unique design is able to achieve high-speed image acquisition of up to 10,000 frames per second with a quantum efficiency of 60%, resulting in a dynamic range of 70db or higher. These characteristics allow researchers to perform voltage-sensitive dye imaging of action potential propagations, and arrhythmias in the isolated heart at ideal S/N ratios with only a single acquisition.

Huge Well Depth of Single Pixel (10Me- / 1.5Me-)

This custom-designed CMOS image sensor has a substantial well depth of up to 10,000,000 electrons per pixel, which means that the sensor can receive a significant amount of light without saturating the sensor. As a result of this well depth, the MiCAM ULTIMA can detect extremely small changes in fluorescence in a single acquisition with no averaging, which means it is possible to record data spontaneous activity with optimal signal to noise ratios.

Completely Synchronized Dual Camera System

MiCAM ULTIMA processor has two camera ports. The ULTIMA can operate as a synchronized dual camera system by the simple addition of a slave camera and connection to the existing processor. This allows for dual-wavelength imaging or dual-staining with multiple probes such as voltage-sensitive dyes and calcium indicators.

Software with Intuitive Interface

BV_Analyzer is a an intuitive data analysis software and is included with all of the MiCAM systems. This software has various functions, such as wave display, 3D display, animation display, real-image display, spatial/temporal filter, high-pass/low-pass filter, AVI/TIFF/BMP/CSV file export, etc.


  • Measuring changes in membrane potential by using voltage-sensitive dye such as Di-4-ANEPPS
  • Calcium imaging at higher speed
  • FRET
  • Intrinsic Imaging Based on Hemoglobin and Flavoprotein
  • Fluorescence ratiometric imaging with dual camera system
  • Detection of small changes in light intensity at high speeds
  • Imaging of propagations in brain slices, tissue block, and in vivo samples

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Cardiac Imaging