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MIMMS 2.1 (2020)

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Imaging Instrumentation
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MIMMS 2.1 (2020)

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Modular In Vivo Multi-photon Microscope 2.1 (MIMMS 2.1)

MIMMS (Modular In vivo Multiphoton Microscopy System) is a modular platform for performing two‐photon laser scanning microscopy (TPLSM) optimized for in vivo applications. The system generally uses commercially available core parts for movement of the objective in the X‐, Y­‐, and Z­‐axis linear translation and X‐axis rotation for in vivo experiments. The backbone of the design is a movable, raised optical breadboard, providing a large area for affixing optical equipment associated with the microscope. The raised design also provides space for additional testing equipment and allows the entire microscope system to be moved out of the way for 360° access to the working area. The microscope is designed with a modular approach to the components, with interchangeable systems for different laser scanning modalities, moving and fixed objective lens mounting, widefield conventional imaging, and high acceptance, non‐descanned fluorescence detection.

MIMMS 2.1 (2020) Updates: 

  • Voice coil-based remote focusing (VC-RF) module is added. This optional module allows for changing the imaging plane position axially without moving the objective lens. The VC-RF unit can prove useful in performing volumetric imaging while maintaining the axial position of the photo-stimulation pattern. In addition, the module can be readily bypassed while maintaining optical alignment through the remaining system. The voice coil offers 6-8 ms step & settle time. This is at least twice faster than piezo-based objective lens scanners.
  • DMD-projector-based Illumination module is upgraded with a new projector. The old projector, DLPLIGHTCRAFTER, used in MIMMS 2.0, is now obsolete and can no longer be purchased. The new projector, PRO4500, offers higher resolution, has an all-glass (no plastic optical elements) light engine and 0o optics offset. This significantly simplifies the design and allows higher optical power through the module.
  • Bill of Materials is updated and extended to include all components of the MIMMS rig, including all custom-built electronics.
  • Documentation, drawings, and pictures are added to help you make your own power supply housings for the dual-galvo and resonant mirror controller PCBs, PMT controller, and PMT preamplifier.

MIMMS 2.0 (2018) Updates:

MIMMS 2.0 (2018) includes various updates for user-friendliness and lowered cost, with more extensive documentation.

  • Comprehensive Autodesk Inventor 3D CAD model
  • Cost reduction of ~$10,000
  • New XYZ stages for improved stability and positional accuracy
  • Streamlined components and design features

MIMMS Features always include:

  • The design allows for an extensible in vivo 2-photon microscopy system
  • The system provides suitable clearance for additional apparatus needed for the specimen.
  • MIMMS can be completely moved out of the way to permit full 360° access to the specimen.  
  • Design created to make customization, modifications, and experimentation possible.
  • Assemblies are open and contain more degrees of freedom than monolithic, turn-key systems to allow interoperability with many different key components (lenses, scan systems, etc.) while using well-stocked, commercially available parts, where possible.


  • High-resolution imaging in neurobiology, embryology, and other areas with highly scattering tissues.
  • Imaging in highly opaque tissues such as skin.


For earlier designs, please see MIMMS 1.0 (2016).

Open-source documentation is available for commercial and non-commercial use via the link to Flintbox at the right. 

For inquiries, please reference:
Janelia 2018-014

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MIMMS 2.1 Board
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Vasily Goncharov PhD
Engineering Manager
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