A heating system for live cell imaging applications that require stable and homogenous temperature for high resolution microscopy

System includes:


The ibidi Heating System is ideal for live cell imaging experiments that require physiologic conditions on the microscope.

Combined with the ibidi Gas Incubation System, it serves as a complete Stage Top Incubator, precisely controlling essential parameters such as temperature, humidity, and CO2/O2 levels on the microscope to get reproducible results of, for example:

The ibidi Heating System is optimized for high-resolution imaging applications that require extra focus stability, for example:

High-Throughput Solutionsibidi also offers high-throughput live
cell microscopy solutions for multiwell plates or multiple slides.
Find Out MorePlease find more detailed information about the planning, conduction, and data analysis of live cell imaging assays here or download the whole “Live Cell Imaging” Application Guide as a PDF here.


Temperature Controller – Silver Line
Dimensions90 x 170 x 230 mm³
Weight1.75 kg / 3.86 lbs
External power supplyAC 100–240 V, 50/60 Hz, 2 A
Incubation Chamber Slide/Dish – Silver Line
Temperature control rangeHeated Lid: 5 degrees higher than ambient temperature (min. 18°C) to 50°C
Heated Plate: 5 degrees higher than ambient temperature (min. 18°C) to 46°C
Temperature stability+/- 0.2°C
Fitting cell culture vessels1 slide (e.g., 25.5 x 75.5 mm², 25 x 74 mm², 25 x 57 mm², or 26 x 58 mm²);
1 dish, 35 mm diameter
Heated Plate dimensions127.5 x 85.5 x 15 mm³
(fits standard multiwell holders)
Heated Lid dimensions127.5 x 85.5 x 20 mm³
Height of the assembled
Incubation Chamber
28 mm
Weight of the assembled Incubation Chamber
(without Slide/Dish Holder)

230 g / 0.51 lbs (without cable)
320 g / 0.71 (with cable)
Weight Dish Holder50 g / 0.11 lbs
Weight Slide Holder20 g / 0.04 lbs
Gas inletPush-in fitting for tubing with OD 4 mm
Objective lens restrictions
GeometricalPossible collision with large objectives near the edges, narrowing the field of view

Technical Features

The Principle of the ibidi Heating System – Silver Line

Cells react sensitively to changes in their environment. Factors such as temperature, humidity/evaporation, and CO2/O2 levels significantly influence the outcome of cell culture assays. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain optimal conditions during live cell imaging experiments on the microscope stage to achieve biologically relevant and reproducible results.

The ibidi Heating System creates stable and homogenous temperatures for high-resolution live cell microscopy. It fits into inverted microscope stages with a universal mounting frame for multiwell plates. It consists of the ibidi Temperature Controller, the ibidi Incubation Chamber (Heated Lid and Heated Plate), plus a Dish Holder and a Slide Holder. When placed in the ibidi Incubation Chamber, the microscopy slides or dishes are kept at a stable, defined temperature during the live cell imaging experiment on the microscope.

For full control of the incubation environment, ibidi offers Stage Top Incubators, which combine the ibidi Heating System and the ibidi Gas Incubation System, to regulate humidity, temperature, CO2, and (optionally) O2 concentrations.


Brilliant Images Without Condensation

The temperature of the Heated Lid of the ibidi Heating System – Silver Line is independently controlled and optimally distributed, thereby solving the frequently occurring problem of condensation during live cell imaging.

A vertical temperature gradient is created by heating the lid to a temperature higher than the plate (e.g., 40°C). This gradient and the active humidity control by the ibidi Gas Incubation System prevent condensation on the lid of the cell culture vessel, which is crucial for non-disturbed high-quality microscopy images. The Heated Plate maintains the sample temperature at a constant 37 °C.

Stable and Homogeneous Temperature

The ibidi Heating System Slide/Dish – Silver Line, ensures a precisely controlled, stable temperature in the Incubation Chamber with homogeneous distribution across the wells of the cell culture vessel. The temperature is controlled via continuous current, which reliably prevents position fluctuations and makes the system optimal for high-resolution live cell microscopy with a stable focus.

Heat-up Curve

Heat-up curve of the ibidi Heating System Slide/Dish – Silver Line with Dish Holder and µ-Dish 35 mm, high, filled with cell culture medium (Sample). The heat-up curve of the ibidi Heating System was recorded at an environmental temperature of 24°C (± 0.3°C). Plate and Lid reached their target temperature within 10 minutes. After complete equilibration of the sample to 37°C within 40 min, the sample temperature stayed at 37.0°C (± 0.2°C).

Sample Temperature Stability

Sample temperature stability inside the ibidi Heating System Slide/Dish – Silver Line with Dish Holder and µ-Dish 35 mm, high, filled with cell culture medium (Sample). After equilibration of the sample inside the Heating System, the environment temperatures were increased stepwise (17°C → 20°C → 23°C → 26°C; max 27.7 °C). The temperature of the sample inside the Heating System stably stayed at 36.9°C (± 0.15°C).

Temperature Distribution

Stable and consistent temperature distribution in the µ-Slide 8 Well high (left) and the µ-Dish 35 mm, high (right) during the incubation in the ibidi Heating System Slide/Dish – Silver Line. Images were acquired with a FLIR thermal camera.

High Magnification and Immersion Oil Microscopy: Objective Heater Extension

The ibidi Heating System – Silver Line can be extended with the Objective Heater Universal – Silver Line. Microscope objectives that require close approximation to the sample (e.g., water or oil immersion objectives) might cause cooling of the sample by thermal transfer from the sample to the objective, when the objective is not heated. Adequate heating of the objective by the Objective Heater prevents cooling of the sample, enabling long-term high-resolution imaging of living cells.

Experimental Examples

Time lapse of a B16-F1 mouse melanoma cell migrating on the laminin-coated surface of the µ-Dish 35 mm, high Glass Bottom. Phase contrast microscopy images were acquired over a a period of 10 minutes in the ibidi Stage Top Incubator Slide/Dish, CO2 – Silver Line using a 100x immersion objective on an Olympus X-81 microscope.
Data by Jonas Scholz and Prof. Jan Faix, Hannover Medical School, Germany.

Time lapse TIRF imaging showing focal adhesion dynamics of a mutant NIH-3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast cell, which was transfected with EGFP-Paxillin, in a µ-Dish 35 mm, high Glass Bottom. TIRF microscopy images were acquired over a period of 12 hours in the ibidi Stage Top Incubator Slide/Dish, CO2 – Silver Line using a TIRF 100x immersion objective on a Nikon Eclipse microscope.
Data by Jonas Scholz and Prof. Jan Faix, Hannover Medical School, Germany.

Brightfield ROCS (Rotating Coherent Scattering) microscopy of living A549 lung cancer cells using a self-made ROCS microscope, recorded with a 445 nm laser within 10 minutes (2 images per second). The cells were cultured in the µ-Dish 35 mm, high Glass Bottom. Live cell imaging was conducted using the ibidi Stage Top Incubator Slide/Dish – Silver Line.
Data by Dominik Huber and Alexander Rohrbach, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany.

Jünger, F., Ruh, D., Strobel, D., Michiels, R., Huber, D., Brandel, A., Madl, J., Gavrilov, A., Mihlan, M., Daller, C. C., Rog-Zielinska, E. A., Römer, W., Lämmermann, T., Rohrbach, A. 100 Hz ROCS microscopy correlated with fluorescence reveals cellular dynamics on different spatiotemporal scales. Nature Communications, 2022, 10.1038/s41467-022-29091-0.
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The Components of the ibidi Heating System Slide/Dish – Silver Line

ibidi Temperature ControllerStable and precise temperature regulationIndependent temperature control of the ibidi Incubation Chamber, and the ibidi Objective HeaterSimultaneous control of up to two ibidi Incubation Chambers and two ibidi Objective HeatersIncubation Chamber Slide/DishPhysiologic conditions for cells on the microscope with defined temperature, humidity, CO2, and O2Fits every inverted microscope with a holder for multiwell platesBrilliant images: no disturbing condensation on the lid of the culture chamber due to Heated LidSlide Holder / Dish Holder
Versatile holders for one cell culture slide (chamber slides, channel slides, and chambered coverslips, including non-ibidi formats and all ibidi µ-Slides) or one cell culture dish with 35 mm diameter (different wall heights supported, including the µ-Dish 35 mm, high and the µ-Dish 35 mm, low)To be used with the ibidi Heating System Slide/Dish – Silver Line and the ibidi Heating System, Universal Fit, for 1 Chamber