PerkinElmer Vectra Polaris slide scanner


Additional rules related to the Coronavirus pandemic have been introduced for equipment room 533. Before you use the Vectra Polaris contact Jill Ashmore to make an appointment to get an introduction to these new rules. These rules differ from the rules introduced for the microscope rooms.




  • Phenochart free slide viewer for the Vectra Polaris can be installed on your own computer via the University's Software Centre or the latest version can be downloaded from the Akoya Bioscience website.

The AIF has purchased a PerkinElmer (now Akoya Biosciences) Vectra Polaris slide scanner with funding from the University Research Equipment and Infrastructure Fund, LD3 and AIF. The system has been installed in RKCSB room 533 but all users will have access to the system.

The Vectra Polaris can be used for bright field slide scanning, multi-colour fluorescence slide scanning and multi-spectral slide scanning.

Using multi-spectral imaging the system can separate up to 9 different colours as well as separating autofluorescence background from the real signal. The system can also be used with filter cubes to separate up to 5 different colours.

The system is optimized for Akoya Biosciences Opal assay kits but other fluorescent markers can be used as well.

For automatic identification of specific tissue types we have now 4 licenses for the integrated inForm image analysis software. One license is installed on the system, one license is with the LCRC, one is installed in the Henry Wellcome Building image analysis room and one in The Wolfson Foundation Light Microscopy Facility analysis room in the Adrian Building.


Planned pricing system (this is independent from the normal AIF charges, so will be charged extra!!); will potentially be adjusted after we have some more experience with the system:

  • For small sample size £15.00 per hour (internal use; subject to change).
  • Large projects please contact Kees Straatman.

External users welcome. Please contact Kees Straatman for availability and pricing.


Available magnification

  • 10x/NA = 0.2
  • 20x/NA = 0.45
  • 40x/NA = 0.75

Filter cube reference list

  • Opal 480 similar to coumarin
  • Opal 520 similar to Alexa488, FITC, Cy2, GFP
  • Opal 570 similar to Alexa555, Cy3
  • Opal 620 similar to Alexa594, Texas Red-X, RFP
  • Opal 690 similar to Alexa660-700, Cy5.5
  • Opal 780 similar to Alexa750, Cy7

Synthetic database

See an overview of the dyes included in the synthetic database:

Fluors  Cy3 
Alexa 488  Cy3.5 
Alexa 514  Cy5 
Alexa 532  Cy5 
Alexa 546  Cy7 
Alexa 555  DAPI 
Alexa 568  DRAQ5 
Alexa 594  eGFP 
Alexa 610  FITC 
Alexa 633  HCS Blue 
Alexa 647  HCS Deep Red 
Alexa 660  Hoechst 33258 
Alexa 680  Opal 480 
ATTO 390  Opal 520 
ATTO 425  Opal 540 
ATTO 488  Opal 570 
ATTO 532  Opal 620 
ATTO 550  Opal 650 
ATTO 647N  Opal 670 
ATTO 680  Opal 690 
ATTO Rho12  Opal 780 
ATTO Rho14  TexasRed 
Coumain  TRITC 

Sample preparation

Use coverslip number 1.5

Don't use mounting media containing DAPI but use a DAPI staining step before you mount your samples.

Don't use nail varnish to seal your coverslip. The Vectra Polaris has to auto-detect your sample and will use the coverslip edges to detect the area for scanning. Nail varnish might cause the system to fail to detect the coverslip edge. As a result you need to use a hard-setting (curing) mountant and PerkenElmer/Akoya Biosciences advices to use ProLong Diamond from Invitorgen/ThermoFisher (no commercial interest from AIF) for the Opal dyes, but other curing mountant will probably work as well as long as they can be combined with your fluorescent markers.