Delta T® Dish Incubation Imaging System

The world’s most precise and versatile culture dish incubation system

The Bioptechs Delta T™ System is a micro-environmental control system used on microscopes to enable long term acquisition of high resolution, time-lapse cell images.  The Delta T™ is designed to simulate host conditions on the stage of a microscope and provide an optimal optical environment for microscopy. 

This simple 2 step system enables cells to be plated and observed without having to transfer them to another structure for imaging.   The basic system components are, the Controller, a Stage Adapter, and Dishes. There are a variety of accessories for the Delta T™ that enable it to be used with nearly any specimen type.

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1. Advanced Imaging Compatibility 

      • Compatible with all modes of microscopy
      • Adapts to all brands of microscopes
      • Ideal for high resolution imaging
      • Accommodates adherent cells, tissue , vessels, suspended specimens and more 
      • Eliminates Z axis drift for clear images

2. Highly Versatile 

      • Ideal for multi-user facilities 
      • Customizable accessories for every experiment type
      • Closed or open dish capabilities
      • Cost effective

3. Precision Temperature Control

      • Control of temperature to within 0.2 of a degree
      • The only uniform temperature control dish system  on the market
      • Highly efficient rapid temperature stabilization
      • Temperature control both above and below ambient
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The culture dish that puts you in control

Bioptechs Delta T® System

  • Easier technique
  • Accurate temperature control
Low dead volume
  • Fast recovery
  • Superior optical image

Campred to…

The Bioptechs Delta T™ Culture Dish System is the only culture dish that provides uniform and precise heat to the contents of the dish without heating the stage of the microscope.

We achieve this through our patented dish technology and intelligent controller.  The culture dish is a # 1.5 thickness cover glass bottomed dish with an electrically conductive, optically transparent coating of ITO on the bottom of the dish that the cells are grown on. The coating is electrically powered by a the controller with an intelligent feedback loop to accurately control the temperature directly to the sample. The controller features a real-time temperature display and fast learning curve to compensate for cooling due to surface evaporation while responding to temperature changes due to perfusion.

Heat is applied directly to the sample without the inefficiencies associated with peripheral heating such as stage heaters. The thermograph on the left shows the efficiency, accuracy and uniformity of the Delta T™ system.

Notice the temperature of the stage adapter. It is nearly the same temperature as the room temperature background. The dotted oval shows where the edge of the stage adapter is in visible light. Only the specimen and media are heated. Power consumption is 0.9 watts because heat is only applied to the specimen area. There is no heat transmitted to the stage. Therefore, it remains “Z” axis stable. This is a sharp contrast to traditional peripheral heating methods (shown below right), and clearly superior.

The thermograph above on the right indicates the disadvantage of peripheral heating. This is a thermal image of a 50mm culture dish in the center of a 100mm diameter uniformly heated, 3mm thick, aluminum plate with a 25 mm hole in the center. This image was acquired after 20 minutes of equilibration. Note the high temperatures of nearly 60° C, that it takes to reach 37° C in the specimen area. In this case heat that is not beneficial to the specimen is sunk into the stage causing Z-axis instability, not to mention the non-uniform temperature of the specimen area.

Stage Heater

  • Heating stages systems are not efficient
  • Plastic dishes are a poor conductor of heat
  • Temperature does not recover quickly during or after perfusion
Plastic bottomed dishes are not suitable for high resolution microscopy
  • Non-uniform temperature distribution
  • Unnecessary dead volume


The most versatile culture dish system in the world

  • Fits all microscopes and stages
  • Access for micro-manipulators
  • Perfusion options
  • Humidification and gas availability
  • Supports cells, tissue artificial membranes, vessels, and more for long term imaging


Delta T Gas Perfusion

Gas Perfusion

Media Perfusion

Precision Temperature Control

Precision temperature control across the specimen plane is critical to quality data.  We use our patented culture dish technology to create a perfect temperature control across the dish without inducing harmful effects to the microscope or sample like PID controllers or stage heaters.  The surface of the dish, opposite the specimen side, is coated with an electrically conductive transparent thin film of Indium-Tin Oxide (ITO) and two electrical contacts When the dish is placed in the stage adapter two electrical contacts rest on the contacts. A temperature controller is used to pass a regulated current flow through the ITO Coating. This causes the surface of the dish to heat. The heat is transferred through the dish to offer first surface thermal control. 

When considering temperature control of a sample there a few key variables to consider…

Uniformity of temperature

This thermographic image demonstrates the uniform temperature distribution of an Delta T Dish system. Notice that the dish temperature is so uniform that its location, in infrared, is indistinguishable from the stage. This demonstrates the effectiveness of the dish as well as the safety of surrounding instrumentation.

Transition Time

Compared to other temperature control systems such as PID controllers and microscope boxes the Delta T comes up to temperature in less than 2 minutes and have an intelligent loop system that automatically re-equilibrates instantly upon introduction of any temperature variables.


Even when coming up to set point temperature the Delta T does not overshoot and harm the sample. The sample is held at a precise temperature set by the user and will not vary more than ±0.2 degree C regardless of experiment time.


All products designed by Bioptechs are green conscious and use approximately 5W of power. The Delta T heats directly to the sample and not the stage or the entire microscope. This not only prevents damage from occurring to other instrumentation, but minimizes the labs impact.

If you are using a culture dish for imaging there is no better option than the Bioptechs Delta T. I run nearly 20 of them around the clock in my lab.
Michael Davidson
Director of the Optical and Magneto-Optical Imaging Center, FSU

Add a Delta T to your lab

Our knowledgeable team is here to help you get the right technology that is best for your application. We take great pride in working to serve our industry and give honest support.

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