For over twenty years, the TriTek Corporation has advanced the state of the art of optical microscopy by fusing mechanical motion control and video image processing with current computer technology. The patented PC-Scope, the heart of the TriTek product line, marks the first significant change in microscope design in over one hundred years. A familiar graphic user interface provides onscreen viewing of the live video image and control over XY stage, focus, magnification, Koehler illumination diaphragms, micro-manipulators, optical polarizing components, micro-injectors, slide-loading, and barcode tracking.

After incorporating in June of 1992, TriTek staff began integrating video and mechanical control into a PC-based platform to produce a complete robotic microscopy solution. By January 1993, the world's first fully-integrated computer-controlled microcopy system was demonstrated to potential customers. This early design was built on the retrofit of an existing microscope stand. Various stepper motor components and electronic devices were attached to a conventional microscope and controlled via software. This prototype system provided onscreen viewing of the microscope image, integrated seamlessly with control over XY stage, focus, magnification, and Koehler illumination diaphragms, 7 axes of control in all.

While marketing this retrofitted microscopy system, it became obvious that price was an obstacle to potential customers. The solution was to eliminate the most costly component of the system, the microscope. In early 1995, TriTek staff began designing an optical microscope based on the exact requirements of a video microscope imaging system.

In August of 1995, TriTek announced the PC-Scope, the first significant improvement in optical microscope design since August Koehler introduced his illumination scheme for optimizing image contrast. The most obvious difference in the TriTek design is the absence of eyepieces, not required for screen-based image viewing. In addition, every mechanical adjustment has been simplified to interface with motors rather than human hands. By eliminating any extraneous glass and incorporating August Koehler's approach to illumination, the finest video microscopy image was obtained. A secondary goal of this redesign was to design for manufacturability, minimizing cost. This radical design process became the foundation for TriTek microscopy products.

Since the redesign of 1995, industry representatives have presented TriTek design staff with their problems, ranging from viewing deadly radioactive material to aligning large screening components on a microscopic scale. Design solutions are generated quickly and cost-effectively as all custom machine parts are designed for manufacturability, yielding low cost without sacrificing quality and durability.

Every once in a while, one of these products lends itself perfectly to the mass-market. In these cases, TriTek develops a production-level version of the product and begins a marketing campaign. The most popular product designed to date is the CrystalPro, a protein crystal imaging microscope designed and optimized with the pharmaceutical industry in mind. One and a half years after the product was announced, orders for nine CrystalPro microscopes had been filled. The market continues to look strong as even the competition is forced to acknowledge the superior image quality of the CrystalPro.

Today, TriTek continues to distinguish itself as a world leader in robotics, video image processing, and cost-effective problem solving. In addition, TriTek has partnered with overseas companies in Europe, Asia, and Australia to distribute these state-of-the-art microscopy products. A strategic alliance has also been established with Reindeer Graphics, Inc. to integrate the world's most advanced image processing algorithms into TriTek's product line.

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