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abberior takes second place at TOP 100

Science journalist and award mentor Ranga Yogeshwar highlights abberiors‘ success through innovation

Our main goal at abberior is to push beyond barriers with new discoveries and to make those discoveries accessible to scientists around the world. That in itself carries lots of innovative spirit. Add to that a skilled young team, a constant stream of new inventions and the ambitious energy of a start-up and you get one of the most innovative enterprises in Germany.

Now the winners of the prestigious TOP 100 award were announced in a virtual conference by mentor Ranga Yogeshwar. The innovation competition, which is being held for the 28th time, analyzed all applicants on the basis of more than 100 performance indicators in five categories before awarding the seal. Among companies of similar size abberior Instruments took the second place, with our particularly impressive performance in the category “Innovation Success” being highlighted.

The scientific management is organized by Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke. As founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, Franke is one of the leading innovation researchers internationally. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the BVMW association of small and medium-sized enterprises.


2021 has been a tumultuous year for all of us, full of small and big adjustments. Despite the challenges, abberior can also look back at many exciting developments. With the year slowly coming to its and, we would like to take a moment to focus on what made 2021 matter.

We keep on breaking barriers: In our quest to continuously provide the world’s first-class resolution microscopy, we introduced MINFLUX 3D this year. This technology allows our MINFLUX platform to achieve single-digit nanometer resolution in all three spatial dimensions – a level that is unachievable by any other product on the market. Our assortment in dyes and labels has also been greatly expanded. Especially in the sector of live-cell microscopy and Long-Stokes shift, we advanced the toolkit for scientists by developing new fluorophores.

Innovation is the name of our game: This year we participated for the first time in the TOP 100 competition for innovation in German small and medium enterprises. After passing their test, a data driven performance analysis, we received the prestigious TOP 100 seal and even took second place in our size class. The German Physical Society honored us with their Award for Technology Transfer. The award highlights the work that goes into making an invention available.

Expanding in times of a pandemic: The coronavirus continued to dictate many aspects of our daily lives. Lots of energy and time were invested to create the safest possible work environment for our employees. While all this was happening, abberior surely did not stop growing. For example, this year saw the establishment of our second office in the USA and our first microscope being delivered to Russia. Special attention was given to the Chinese market: we established our first local office with service and sales employees in Beijing and launched a custom Chinese website. Our central office in Göttingen kept growing as well, with our current facilities running out of space. Luckily, relief is on the horizon – literally – with our new headquarters starting development in a brand-new building right around the corner.

These days, team spirit and solidarity are especially important, and we are happy to have achieved so many great things together. And we will continue to do so in 2022, with many exciting things to come. But for now, we wish you and your loved ones a restful holiday season and a safe start into the New Year.

Technology Transfer Award of the German Physical Society

The German Physical Society (DPG) has awarded the Technology Transfer Prize to abberior, the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and Max Planck Innovation GmbH. The three institutions receive the prize for the successful industrial implementation of research results in the field of high-resolution light microscopy. The award recognizes the many steps that go into the realization of innovative discoveries into an entrepreneurial setting.

abberior emerged in the early 2010s from Stefan Hell’s NanoBiophotonics department at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry. Max Planck Innovation GmbH, as a link between science and industry, accompanied the founding of the company and licensenewd out the findings in the field of fluorescence microscopy to the then start-up.

Gerald Donnert, our CEO, is delighted with the recognition and at the same time sets clear goals: “In the end, our microscopes are tools that can be used to make fundamental discoveries in biology and medicine that will benefit everyone in the future. At abberior Instruments, we want to provide researchers from around the world with the sharpest and most powerful fluorescence microscopes that can be built today. This advances industrial and academic research and helps to identify the systematics of disease or life on a molecular scale.”

The managing group behind the building project holding trowels with concrete
The visitors of the event listening to Professor Stefan W. Hell giving his speech
Professor Stefan W. Hell standing in front of a banner by MBN Bau GmbH
The copper time capsule to commemorate the laying of the foundation
An overview of the building site with banners and scaffolding

It’s a new era for abberior. Last Friday, we celebrated the laying of the foundation of our new headquarters in Göttingen. The new building will be located in the direct vicinity of the researchers at the North Campus of the University of Göttingen and the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. As co-founder and Nobel prize winner Stefan W. Hell explained in his speech: “What better way for researchers at Göttingen University to know that the world’s sharpest microscopes are literally built a few hundred meters around the corner. Or that one or two phone calls are enough to be able to bring along a sample and make the crucial measurement for a research paper. You won’t find that anywhere else.”

The project is the result of a collaboration between our companies, the GWG, an investor for urban business development, the city of Göttingen and the University of Göttingen, who supplied the building area. In total, 14 million euros will be invested in the seven-story building to create research, production and office spaces for 200 employees. The building is planned to be finished in the second half of 2022. Not a day to soon, adds co-founder and CEO Dr. Gerald Donnert: “Currently, we hire 30 new people each year.”

Until then, we will keep you up to date with the progress on our social media pages (Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook). And while you’re at it: Why not have a look at our current job postings and save yourself a seat in our new headquarters?

China is very important for us and for the world! We are proud to announce that abberior is actively expanding the Chinese market. Users around the world can now directly benefit from the “latest STED and MINFLUX systems with the highest spatial resolution in fluorescence microscopy”, as Prof. Stefan W. Hell stated.

abberior has opened the first office in Beijing and is looking forward to welcoming guests. Here, our experienced scientists and engineers will give customers vivid system presentations and demonstrations on site or remotely.

To make access to our technology as easy as possible, we launched our Chinese website today. With just a few clicks, scientists and researchers can find key product information, learn how they can benefit from patented abberior technologies, have all company news at their fingertips, and get direct access to local technical support.

We are convinced that direct and barrier-free communication with our customers, strengthens mutual trust and cooperation and will be a guarantee for future success on both sides.

abberior and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have launched a collaboration on the application of MINFLUX in biology. The goal of this agreement is to combine forces regarding further development of the method, and to apply superresolution MINFLUX microscopy to living systems.

To this end, abberior installed a MINFLUX system at the EMBL Imaging Centre in Heidelberg, Germany in August 2020. This nanoscope will be used for developing imaging workflows and for targeting a broad range of biological questions. After successful proof-of-concept applications, the system will also be available for external users in the framework of the new EMBL Imaging Centre.

“This collaboration will allow us to apply MINFLUX to highly relevant questions in biology and to push the limits of this technology. In the near future, we will to adapt MINFLUX microscopy to operate in living systems.” said Christian Wurm, Head of the abberior application team.

The abberior MINFLUX system is the newest addition to the abberior product portfolio. It is the first commercialized microscopy system that provides true molecule-size resolution and holds the world-record in temporal resolution for single particle tracking.


Abberior has opened its new office in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. The new site houses conference and showrooms, demo rooms and offices, as well as a supply for replacement parts.

“Abberior Instruments America is excited to have opened our new office in Bethesda Maryland located less than 1 mile from the National Institutes of Health main campus and within a short drive of key research centers at Johns Hopkins and Howard Hughes’ Janelia Farms.” says David Melton, CEO of Abberior Instruments America.

Our US staff and two microscopes, a FACILITY line and a STEDYCON, are looking forward to our customers, many interesting discussions, live and remote demos, and exceptional images.

Using an abberior STED-FCS, a team from four European countries, comprising Christian Eggeling (Leibniz IPHT & Friedrich Schiller University Jena) and Delphine Muriaux (Montpellier Infectious Disease Research Institute) discovered the existence and composition of a lipid-based platform for HIV virus assembly. These results provide novel molecular insights on HIV virus assembly and are a starting point for the development of new antiviral drugs.


Read here: “HIV-1 Gag specifically restricts PI(4,5)P2 and cholesterol mobility in living cells creating a nanodomain platform for virus assembly”Science Advances

In this article, Prof. Stefan Hell talks about his professional career, how he came to develop STED microscopy in the early nineties, and how our company was started and where it’s heading.

It’s a fantastic read about the early times of superresolution all the way up to now, with many interesting details about why things unfolded in a particular way. Don’t miss it if you’re interested in the history of STED, abberior, or Stefan Hell!


Further Information:
Website Max Planck
Full Article (German)

Scientists in France have successfully used an abberior STED system and abberior dyes to shoot images of SARS-CoV2 (“Corona”, magenta) infecting VeroE6 cells.

Understanding the precise structure of this virus and the processes during and after infection are crucial to finding a cure or vaccine, ending lockdowns all around the world. Standard light microscopes are not of much help, since they are limited by diffraction (approx. 200 nm), while the virus particles have a much smaller diameter at about 100 nm. Because of this, SARS-CoV2 and important cellular structures that it attacks only show up blurry in standard, e.g. so-called confocal microscopes.

In the past, electron microscopy would have been used, but sample preparation for this instruments in tedious and they cannot image living matter, which is nevertheless vital to unraveling the workings of a corona infection on the cellular level. This is where STED microscopy comes into play: with a resolution 5-10 times below the diffraction limit, and much weaker constraints regarding sample preparation, it’s going to be an important tool for finding drugs against corona and similar viruses.


Copyright: MDVA team/CNRS Montpellier, France (D. Muriaux, C. Favard, M.-P. Blanchard @MRI)

Abberior, the leading STED solution provider from the inventors of STED and Nikon Instruments Inc., innovator of advanced microscope systems today announced a strategic partnership to accelerate adoption of easy-to-use STED technology in the US. As part of this collaboration, abberior’s compact STEDYCON system will be distributed by Nikon.

Inquiries for Abberior Instruments America: David Melton | CEO | 561.972.9300 |

Media Inquiries for Nikon Instruments Inc.: Kristina Corso | Communications Specialist | 212.931.6189 |

Further Information


When we started our business in 2012 in a small office ‘garage’ in Göttingen, our vision was to become the technically leading manufacturer for superresolution microscopes worldwide. With currently around 50 employees in Heidelberg (Germany), Jupiter (Florida, USA) as well as in Basel (Switzerland), we have turned into a globally recognized maker of superresolution light microscopes, selling in more than 35 countries. Due to the excellence of our highly selected and skilled team we have been able to grow with remarkable speed, and now we’re officially recognized as a growth champion!

With fourth place in the category “manufacturing industry”*, and ranked number 133th of 500 companies nationwide, we are very proud to be part of the “Wachstumschampions 2019”. Our average growth between 2014 and 2017 was almost 60% per year.

The Focus ranking lists companies that have achieved the highest sales growth per year in the last three years. Statista sieved through thousands of companies with above-average growth from more than 2 million commercial register entries, and invited many more to apply for the 2019 Growth Championships. The companies now listed in the Focus magazine’s top list are the ones that received the “Growth Champion 2019” award.


Further Information

*without automobile, machinery and plant construction industry