BitFlow Frame Grabber Eliminates Data Bottlenecks in New Optical Mapping Platform

New approach opens up dual mapping technology to broader cardiovascular research community

WOBURN, MA, OCTOBER 19, 2020 — Optical mapping is an imaging technique that measures fluorescence signals across a cardiac preparation with high spatiotemporal resolution. Optical mapping of transmembrane voltage and intracellular calcium is a powerful tool for investigating cardiac physiology and pathophysiology.

Researchers at the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric and Surgical Innovation, Washington, DC, recently introduced a novel, easy-to-use approach to optical mapping that requires only a path splitter, a single camera, a frame grabber and an excitation light to simultaneously acquire voltage and calcium signals from whole heart preparations.1 This cost-effective yet highly reliable system eliminates the need for multiple cameras, excitation light patterning, or frame interleaving, therefore aiding in the adoption of dual mapping technology by the broader cardiovascular research community, and decreasing the barrier of entry into panoramic heart imaging.

At the heart of the new system is a BitFlow four-channel frame grabber. It is used for imaging control and acquisition from an Andor Zyla 4.2 PLUS Scientific CMOS (sCMOS) camera acquiring images at 4.2 megapixels. A 10-tap CameraLink™ connection with a clock rate of 85 MHz was necessary to achieve the fastest frame rates possible. The researchers selected the BitFlow frame grabber in part because of its “2x” mode that shares DMA responsibility between two DMA engines, effectively doubling the frame grabber’s bandwidth and providing much needed headroom to DMA images from the camera continuously, regardless of system load. Because of the high data rate of acquisition — due to high spatial and temporal resolution and bit depth — an NVMe SSD disk was also essential for reducing data rate bottlenecks.

To achieve optimal results, an image splitting device is positioned in front of the sCMOS camera. A fixed focal length 17 mm/F0.95 lens is attached to the front of the device for experiments with rat hearts, while a wide-angle 6mm f/1.2 lens is used for pig hearts. To guide manual alignment, MetaMorph software from Molecular Devices overlays live images as contrasting colors or as subtractive grey scales to highlight misalignment. With this live feedback, images are quickly aligned using the “long” and “short” control knobs. After alignment, any standard image acquisition software can be used such as MetaMorph, μManager, or Solis. The acquired image includes two fields which can be separated using imaging software that includes automated tools.

The computer consisted of a Xeon CPU E3–1245 v5 3.50 GHz (Intel corporation), 32 GB of RAM, and a non-volatile memory express solid state disk (NVMe SSD, Samsung 960 Pro). Notably, the platform is composed entirely of off-the-shelf components, which will help in the adoption and successful implementation of this setup by other laboratories.

Visit www.bitflow.com for more information.

1. Jaimes, R., McCullough, D., Siegel, B. et al. Lights, camera, path splitter: a new approach for truly simultaneous dual optical mapping of the heart with a single camera. BMC biomed eng 1, 25 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42490-019-0024-x

Photo caption: A Optical system configuration with image splitting device positioned in front of a sCMOS camera. B Emission of each complementary probe (Vm, Ca) is separated by wavelength using an image splitting device. C Dichroic cube setup with the two emission filters and a dichroic mirror. 

New Whitepaper to Help Machine Vision Designers Control CoaXPress Cameras for Greater Flexibility and Lower Costs

Claxon CXP4

WOBURN, MA, JUNE 23, 2020 – The challenges facing today’s machine vision integrators are more complicated and critical than ever before, as they strive to build faster, more accurate and cost-efficient systems in the wake of changing technology. To that end, BitFlow has published a new whitepaper Controlling CoaXPress Cameras from The BitFlow SDK Tools, Configuration File and APIs designed to help integrators new to the CoaXPress (CXP) standard introduce advanced CXP cameras into system infrastructure to shape positive outcomes.

CoaXPress is the world’s fastest standard for professional and industrial imaging applications such as machine vision, medical imaging, life sciences, broadcast and defense. It is an asymmetric point-to-point serial communication standard that transmits video and still images, scalable over single or multiple coaxial cables. It has a high speed downlink of up to 12.5 Gbps per cable for video, images and data, plus a lower speed uplink up to 42 Mbps for communications and control.

An invaluable learning tool, the 10-page whitepaper details the flexible CXP tools available in the BitFlow SDK (Software Development Kit), and how they work in concert to meet different application needs. It also provides examples showing optimization of a CXP machine vision system, accelerated and simplified by the BitFlow SDK.

The publication of the new whitepaper is part of the rollout of the new BitFlow Claxon CXP-12 PCIe Gen 3 frame grabber. CXP-12 is the latest CoaXPress speed jump, now transmitting video at 12. 5 Gb/S.

Get your copy here.

BitFlow in San Jose, California 2019

BitFlow will be exhibiting at the CRAV conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton San Jose from Tuesday November 12th through Wednesday November 13th.  Come stop by tabletop #63 to see our latest offerings.

BitFlow in Shanghai, China, March 20-22, 2019

BitFlow recently exhibited at Laser World of Photonics China at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

Cameras from ISVI, Sentech, IO Industries and CIS Corp were on display highlighting our Cyton CXP4.

Our soon to be released Claxon CXP4, a CXP-12 frame grabber, was highlighted in a demo.

Our distributor, ATMV, also exhibited and had a few of our frame grabbers on display.

If you attended the show and did not get a chance to stop by our booth 1739 in Hall W1, please visit us online, submit an inquiry, or give us a call at 781-932-2900.

Vision 2018, Stuttgart, Germany, November 6-8, 2018

BitFlow recently exhibited at Vision in Stuttgart, Germany.

Our latest released CoaXPress frame grabber, the Claxon, was on display.  The Claxon, which can run at up to 12.5 Gb/S, is our CXP-12 frame grabber which will be available in Q2 2019.

A demo showcasing our Cyton CXP4 with 4 single channel CXP cameras was on display.  These cameras were focused in on our Aon-CXP, single link frame grabber.  Cameras on display included ISVI, CIS, Adimec and Sentech.

The Cyton CXP HALCON demo was front and center catching the attention of many attendees.

Located in Hall 1 Aisle A we had a prime location for lots of booth traffic.

If you attended the show and did not get a chance to stop by our booth, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.

BitFlow at CRAV in Santa Clara, CA 2018

BitFlow recently exhibited at the AIA CRAV conference at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, California.

Cameras from ISVI, CIS, Adimec and Sentech were used in a demo highlighting our Cyton-CXP4.

Our BitBoxAxion-CLAon-CXPand Cyton CXP4 were all on display.

If you attended the show and did not have a chance to stop by tabletop #3, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.

BitFlow in Santa Clara, CA

BitFlow will be exhibiting at the CRAV Conference at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara from Wednesday October 24th through Thursday October 25th.  Stop by tabletop #3 to see what we have on display!

BitFlow in Orlando, FL 2018

BitFlow recently exhibited at the SPIE DCS Show at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Our BitBox, Axion-CL, Aon-CXP, Cyton CXP4 and Neon CLQ were all on display.

If you attended the show and did not have a chance to stop by our booth, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.

BitFlow in Boston, MA 2018

BitFlow recently exhibited at the Vision Show Boston at the Hynes Convention Center.

We had a great location at the entrance to the show.

Our Cyton CXP and HALCON demo caught the attention of many show attendees.

A CoaXPress camera demo highlighting our Aon-CXP and Cyton CXP4 was on display along with a sequence capture demo.  Cameras from JAI, IO Industries and Sentech were included in these demos.

Our Neon CLQ, Aon-CXPAxion 1xE and Cyton CXP4 frame grabbers were all on display.

The show was well attended and there was a lot of traffic at our booth.

If you attended the show and did not have a chance to stop by our booth, please visit us online, submit an inquiry or give us a call at 781-932-2900.