Dissection Microscope: MSM 400

Demystify the dark art of tetrad dissection before coffee break; teach your entire lab to do the same by lunch time! Singer Instruments have been helping people around the World achieve exactly this for the last 30 years by making this classical genetics technique as easy and fun as playing a video game!


How does it work?

In every MSM 400, the specially developed motor-driven stage and integrated micromanipulator are controlled with each hand in a comfortable position. The micromanipulator controls the needle, while the joystick controls all the basic functionality of the MSM 400. Users can work “head-down” using the binocular eyepieces or dissect from the video image on the screen when a camera is attached.


What does it do?

The MSM 400 allows users with little to no experience to successfully dissect tetrads and cells in a user-defined grid. In addition, it allows users to do mother/daughter separation (ageing studies) and automatically count discards for each position. Screening and imaging interesting cells at user-defined positions can also be made at the click of a button.


What can I use it for?

Ascospore dissection of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe and other ascospore-producing species

Ageing protocols to study and record the replicative lifespan of mother cells

Screening protocols for documenting and revisiting cells of interest

Image-capture, storage and export


What is it?

A computer-driven, motorised-stage-controlled workstation for manipulating yeast and fungal spores, the MSM 400 is undeniably the most powerful tetrad dissection workstation in the World. Using a large touch-screen computer and ergonomically designed joystick and manipulator, even inexperienced users can quickly and intuitively pick and place individual cells. The built-in software contains useful protocols that automate many of the repetitive aspects in dissection, ageing, and screening studies.

Singer MSM 400 - Yeast Tetrad Dissection Microscope Workstation
MSM 400 Tetrad Dissection Online Demonstration

Age Analysis - Singer Instruments MSM 400 application

Tetrad Dissection - Singer Instruments MSM 400 application

Single Cell Screening - Singer Instruments MSM 400 application

Typhan Blue / H&E Staining - Singer Instruments MSM 400 application

View x600 - Singer Instruments MSM 400 application

VIEW x600



What plates can I use?

The MSM 400 accepts standard 90mm Petri dishes on which most tetrad dissections are performed. The MSM 400 also supports the use of rectangular SBS-dimension plates and glass slides with the Slide-Holder accessory.


What objectives does the MSM 400 come with?

The MSM 400 comes with x4 and x20 objectives. A x40 objective is available for purchase.


What is the size of the storage space?

The MSM 400 touch-screen computer has 4GB RAM and 32GB storage space. Files can also be transported via a memory stick to another computer. 16GB is the maximum size for the memory stick.


I want to take pictures of cells. Can I do that with MSM 400?

Absolutely! By adding the CMOS camera on to your MSM 400, you will be able to take pictures of cells and put those pictures together into a time-lapse video! CMOS camera also allows you to simultaneously view the cells through the eyepieces and on the computer screen, which is an excellent way to teach dissection!

What is a MicroZapper?

The MicroZapper is an electronically controlled needle agitator that provides an elegant way to separate the spores. It clamps onto the needle holder and at the touch of a button will vibrate the tip of the needle and elegantly break apart spores, thus removing the need to bang the bench or tap the microscope.


How is the needle controlled?

Needle control is simple and intuitive. A pendant joystick controls the x- and y-axis movement, and a convenient and positive rotary bezel controls the z-axis movement.  The 3D movements of the needles are easily controlled with one hand. The needle is designed to stay in contact with the surface of the agar to allow clearing over dense inoculums with a sweeping action. This also helps with removing daughter cells from mother cells during age analysis as the daughter cell is attracted to the needle tip without causing mechanical shock to the virgin mother cell.


I am left-handed.  What should I do?

No worries at all! The MSM 400 micromanipulator can be configured for either right- or left-handed users. The setup is very quick and easy as the manipulator is slotted in and clamped on the side of the stage.


Tech Specs

Product Code




L: 56 cm x W: 74 cm x H: 56 cm (64 cm w/camera)



30 kg


Power Requirements

Voltage: 110 – 240V AC


CMOS Camera

Bit Depth: 12-bit, 8-bit
Colour: Mono
Frame Rate: 167
Interface: USB 3.0
Lens Mount: C-Mount
Resolution: 1920 x 1200 (2.3 MP)
Sensor Size: 1/1.2″
Sensor Type: CMOS
Shutter Type: Global



Top-mounted course focus dial.
Electronic fine focus integrated into control joystick



X20 XLWD and ×4 flat field parfocal objectives
Ultra bright, dimmable, long-life LED illuminator
LWD condenser with stage optical window, iris and filter tray
Integrated power supply
X15 wide-field eyepieces and eyecups
Width and focus adjustment to both oculars
Trinocular head with camera port
35 mm coarse focus (manual)
0.75 mm fine focus (electronic joystick control)



X, Y & Z axis control from a single pendant joystick with left or right-handed stage positioning
5 mm shank needle-holder with quick-change needle clamp


Singer Instruments has a long-standing reputation for fantastic service and support, for which we are very proud. Our motto, ‘a responsibility to science’, extends to our service and support whereby our primary motivation is to eliminate, or at least minimise, your experimental downtime. We design our products for reliability, longevity, speed, and ease-of-use. Our Lab Support packages augment these design criteria by increasing life-expectancy and increasing device reliability with preventive and predictive maintenance. Should any reactive maintenance be called upon, our time, cost and carbon efficient support should get you up and running in the shortest time possible.

Singer Instruments’ products are fully guaranteed against faulty materials or workmanship for one year from the date of commissioning. Should the product be controlled by a computer, the guarantee necessitates internet connectivity for remote access* availability.

Singer Lab Support is an excellent and cost effective service that gives the Laboratory unlimited access to Singer technical experts by phone, email, VOIP or remote access. All requests are entered into the Singer ticketing system that allows both the Laboratory and Singer Instruments to log, track and monitor any reported issues from initial contact through to resolution. While we aim to respond to all queries within 24 hours, our average response times are far less.

Our Singer Lab Support packages come with discounts for multiple years, multiple products and renewals. We offer 2 levels of cover – Lab Support and Lab Support Plus.

*remote access – a highly secure method of allowing a Singer Instruments engineer access to your machine via an Internet connection. Not applicable for all products.


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Yeast Aging Studies

MSM 400 feature: Position recall


The MSM 400 automatically remembers the placement of cells and positions can be revisited at the touch of a button.

MSM 400 feature: Replication Cycle Tracking - Ageing


Advanced software automatically tracks the number of cell division each mother has undergone.

Ultra easy-to-use

ROTOR function: User-friendly touch-screen


The interactive user-interface is intuitive and very easy-to-use. It informs the user the exact stage position and selected operating mode.

MSM 400 feature: Ergonomic design


The comfortable joystick can control all the basic functionality of the MSM 400 with the left hand, while the pendant micromanipulator  controls  X, Y & Z needle movement with the right hand. The MSM 400 can be set up left or right-handed.

MSM 400 feature: MicroZapper, automatic tetrad disperser


The MicroZapper is an electronically controlled needle agitator providing an elegant way to separate spores. No more damaged agar and no more lost spores!

MSM 400 feature: Motorised Stage


Move easily and accurately around the cell grid with motor-driven stage controls.

MSM 400 feature: Clear positional grid dislay


The MSM 400 allows fast and easy dissection of tetrads and cells in a user-defined grid.

SporePlay+ feature - Micromanipulator - Movement reduction


400:1 reduction in movement from pendant control to needle. Damped, vibration-free needle movement.

Advanced teaching capabilities


The live field-of-view can be displayed on the large touch screen computer, perfect for showing new students how to dissect a tetrad or to separate daughter cells. And, if teaching a large lecture theatre full of students, the MCI can be connected to a projector for large-scale demonstration.

MSM 400 feature: Needle protection


The 50µm optic fibre needles are coated with glass envelops to provide ease-of-handle and additional rigidity to the needles. They will not break even if you jam them into the agar!

Other features

MSM 400 benifit: Time-lapse Imaging


Image acquisition software on the MSM can take images of cells at fixed intervals and put those images together in a time-lapse video.

MSM 400 feature: Small bench-top microscope


Small footprint: free-up valuable lab space.

MSM 400 feature: Multiple Plate Types


The MSM 400 supports 90mm Petri dishes, Singer PlusPlates™, standard rectangular SBS-format dishes and rectangular glass slides.