The Utah Procurement Code provides that a procurement may be made without competition when the University determines that there is only one source that can reasonably meet the University’s need for the required supply or service, as described in Utah Code Ann. § 63G-6a-802.

The Purchasing Department has received the following request for sole source procurement

Product and/or Service to be purchased: Axioscan 7 Slide Scanner

Sole Source Supplier: Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC

Earliest Proposed Purchase Date: May 22, 2024

Buyer Name: Kayla McMullen

Sole Source Justification:

We require an automated fluorescent microscope slide imaging system, enabling us to digitize dozens of brain tissue sections in a file format that is later useful for qualitative and quantitative analysis.  The scanner must be flexible and generally applicable to multiple users in the Moran Eye Center who will be using different sized specimens and need to image a range of fluorescent targets.  Here are some unique features of the Zeiss Axioscan 7 which make it best suited to the Moran Eye labs:

  1. The Zeiss Axioscan 7 accepts multiple microscope slide types in a straightforward manner making it ideal for a system that will be used by multiple different researchers. I can accept many slides at once and be continuously loaded with new slides while the scanner is running, saving lots of time. It is a closed box system allowing it to be placed in a lighted laboratory environment instead of its own dark room space.
  2. The fluorescent 7 LED light source with continuous brightness adjustment and automatic calibration coupled directly to the light path without a light guide. This set up provides great flexibility in the number of fluorophores each lab can potentially image and the direct connection to the light path is robust and less prone to breaking or coming our of alignment.
  3. Six Position Fast Filter Wheel for imaging with 50 ms switching time between filters will reduce overall scanning time.
  4. The microscope objectives and cameras that come with the system are at the top of their classes, providing the best quality images of the targets researchers are interested in. This improves the quality of the analysis afterwards.
  5. The system uses a unique contrast technique to build focus maps of the tissue rather than using a fluorescent light that will cause photobleaching of delicate tissue samples. Once a tissue is photobleached it can not be restored, rendering valuable tissue samples essentially worthless.
  6. The Zen software package and .czi filetypes generated by the system are extremely familiar to many laboratory personnel. The data generated by the system will seamlessly integrate into the existing workflows and software pipelines already in use at the Moran.
  7. This system can easily be upgraded to add additional functionality in the future.

The above specifications thus make this slide scanner uniquely suited to our needs.

This Zeiss system is built and optimized for use in research labs like those in the Moran Eye Center.  It is incredibly familiar in its high-quality imaging and operation to microscopes already in use in the Moran Eye Center.  Other systems tend to be built for pathology labs and workflows.  Modifying the system to make it more directly competitive with other brands would mean taking away all the key features that make it such a good fit for the research laboratory environment. We have examined multiple offerings from other vendors on their websites, comparing technical specifications.