Previously QBC Diagnostics and the Drucker Company

Turn any standard light microscope into an affordable fluorescent microscope with the QBC ParaLens Advance. Compatible with virtually any compound light microscope, the QBC ParaLens Advance provides an easy to use alternative to comparable fluorescence microscopy systems costing thousands of dollars.

Part Number : paralens-advance

Paralens Advance

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Interested in learning more about the QBC ParaLens Advance? The following is an archive of currently available documents concerning the ParaLens Advance:

Product Literature


A full-color brochure describing the many features and benefits of ParaLens Advance technology.

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Operator's Manual

The complete operator's manual for the ParaLens Advance.

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Product Description List

A list of all configurations and accessories currently available for the ParaLens Advance, including part numbers.

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Specification Sheet

A document containing all specifications of the ParaLens Advance, including size, electrical specifications, objectives, and more.


User Guide

This user guide provides a detailed introduction to the ParaLens Advance, including its components, attachment, and maintenance.



ParaLens Advance 30-Day Evaluation Datasheet

This document contains information about Drucker Diagnostics' free 30-Day ParaLens Advance evaluation program.


ParaLens Advance 30-Day Evaluation Agreement

This agreement is the official application for users interested in participating in the ParaLens Advance 30-Day Evaluation Program, including the full terms and conditions of the program.


Application Notes

QBC Malaria Test

This application note serves as a reference for using the ParaLens Advance with the QBC Malaria Test to detect malaria parasites.


Reviewing TB Slides Prepared With F.A.S.T. TB Kits

This note demonstrates how the ParaLens Advance and the QBC F.A.S.T. AFB Kits can work together to help TB programs meet WHO and Stop TB Partnership goals.


TB with Conventional Auramine O Stains

This note contains directions for using the ParaLens Advance with conventional (non-F.A.S.T.) Auramine O stains to detect TB.



Specification Sheet

A document containing all specifications for the Drucker Diagnostics microscope, which can be used for standard light microscopy or fluorescence microscopy with the ParaLens Advance.




A full-color document detailing the features and benefits of the QBC FM Scan, which can be used to capture micrographs during sample review with the ParaLens Advance.


Specification Sheet

A document containing all specifications of the QBC FM Scan, including size, electrical specifications, and more.


External Recommendations for LED Fluorescence Microscopy

WHOWorld Health Organization

In this official policy statement, the World Health Organization recommends the use of LED fluorescence microscopy for the detection of tuberculosis. For a detailed analysis of this recommendation, consult our ParaWorld Frequently Asked Questions on the subject.


Association of Public Health Laboratories

On Page 3 of these guidelines for Public Health Laboratories, the Association of Public Health Laboratories recommends the use of fluorescent stain as the primary staining method for TB detection.

The ParaLens Advance is a cutting-edge microscope attachment designed to provide the benefits of LED fluorescence microscopy to any light microscope. LED QBC ParaLens Advancefluorescence microscopy offers improved detection of many infectious diseases, and has been recommended by the World Health Organization for use in Tuberculosis screening.

The patent-pending design of the ParaLens Advance offers features unmatched by competing fluorescence microscopy products, including:

  • The ability to upgrade any light microscope
  • A durable, bright LED light source
  • Multiple convenient power options

Upgrade Any Light Microscope

The ParaLens Advance easily attaches to any compound light microscope as an objective. This allows users to upgrade their existing microscopes without wasting precious resources on unnecessary new equipment.

The ParaLens Advance features a patent-pending detachable filter set arm, which both streamlines the attachment for simple setup and allows users to quickly change between objectives whenever necessary.


Durable, Bright LED Light

Unlike fragile, dangerous mercury or xenon bulbs, the ParaLens Advance LED light source is built to last. The bulb offers a life expectancy of 20,000 hours, and its durable construction can withstand virtually any environment.

The ParaLens Advance LED doesn't sacrifice intensity for durability. Its light source is as bright as a 100 Watt mercury vapor bulb, allowing users to conduct sample review even in bright light.


Multiple Convenient Power Options

The ParaLens Advance LED light source is designed to be powered easily, with a variety of convenient power options. The system comes standard with an AC to DC power pack and international plug adapters that can power the LED light source using any outlet in the world.

Portable power options are also available for the system: The ParaLens Advance Portability Pack includes options such as a solar battery pack, USB cord, 9-volt battery clamps and more, while the QBC Mobile Power Station is designed to power the ParaLens Advance as well as other QBC products, with a 22 Amp-Hour rechargeable battery and AC/DC inputs.

The ParaLens Advance is designed to easily provide the benefits of LED fluorescence microscopy through its unique, patent-pending design. But what is fluorescence microscopy? And how does the design of the ParaLens Advance achieve these benefits? This section is intended to answer these important questions:

Benefits of Fluorescence Microscopy

Fluorescence microscopy has long been recognized as an important tool in many research and clinical applications, particularly the detection of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria. It utilizes principles of fluorescence to increase the visibility of objects seen under magnification, resulting in increased sensitivity and speed.

To conduct fluorescence microscopy screening, a sample is first treated with a fluorescent dye. When light of a specific wavelength is directed onto the stained sample, the sample becomes excited and emits light of a new wavelength.

The ParaLens Advance utilizes a blue LED light source and filters to produce an excitation output of approximately 410-480 nm (see chart below). This is designed for use with a number of stains, most specifically acridine orange (used to detect malaria parasites) and auramine (used in the detection of tuberculosis bacilli).

How the ParaLens Advance Works

The cutaway diagram to the right demonstrates the patent-pending technology behind the ParaLens Advance. Standard RMS Threading (1) is used to easily attach the ParaLens Advance main body to any compound light microscope as an objective (Note: Adapter rings are available for non-standard sizes). All filters are contained in a detachable filter set arm (2) that can be removed to easily switch between objectives.

The ParaLens Advance utilizes epifluorescence microscopy, meaning that the light is transmitted from above the sample, rather than passing through from below. The ParaLens Advance's light comes from its LED light source, which attaches to the distal end of the filter set arm (3), producing blue light with a 410-511 nm wavelength.

After passing through the focusing lens (4), light in the filter set arm then passes through an excitation filter (5) that only allows light in the 385-480 nm range to pass into the main chamber. A dichroic beam splitter (6) directs blue light toward the sample, where it will excite any substances that have absorbed fluorescent stain.

The emitted light from the sample is focused by powerful objective lenses (7) as it travels back toward the viewer. The emitted light now has a longer wavelength than blue light, which allows it to pass through the dichroic mirror. An emission filter (8) is present to reduce background noise and optimize the signal for viewing.

Controls and Diagnostics

How do I know if the ParaLens Advance will be compatible with my microscope?
The ParaLens Advance is designed to be compatible with most microscopes that use standard RMS objective threading. Adapter rings are available for new Nikon, Leica, Zeiss, and Motic microscopes that use alternative objective threading.

How often do I need to change the ParaLens Advance light bulb?
The ParaLens Advance utilizes a high-intensity blue LED and should never need to be replaced.

What is the excitation and the emission wavelengths of the ParaLens Advance?
The ParaLens Advance provides an excitation wavelength of ~410-480 nm and an emission wavelength of above 520 nm.

What objective magnifications are available with the ParaLens Advance?
The ParaLens Advance is available with 20x, 40x, 60x, and 100x objectives.

If I do not have a microscope, is there a microscope available with the ParaLens Advance?
Yes, Drucker Diagnostics can provide a microscope as an accessory to the ParaLens Advance system.

Purchase and Usage

How can I receive training on the ParaLens Advance?
ParaWorld training resources have been designed to assist new ParaLens Advance users, with resources including bench aids, atlases, and on or off-site training.

What are the power requirements of the ParaLens Advance?
The ParaLens Advance power pack uses a 100-240 VAC, and comes standard with international plug adapters for use in any country. Numerous other portable power options are also available, including a USB cord, solar battery pack, and 12-volt battery clamps, among others.

Where is the ParaLens Advance available?
The ParaLens Advance is available globally. Consult our How to Buy resource to find a ParaLens Advance distributor in your area.

Is there a discount available for volume purchases or for educational purposes?
Yes, please contact us directly for more information.

Do you still sell the original ParaLens Microscope Attachment?
No. The ParaLens Microscope Attachment is no longer for sale.

The ParaLens Advance offers several economic advantages over competing fluorescence products, including:

  • Maximized Resources: The ParaLens Advance upgrades any compound light microscope, allowing users to make greater use of their current equipment and resources.
  • Increased Efficiency: Thanks to the increased speed and efficiency possible with the ParaLens Advance, users can expect faster review and greater lab throughput, minimizing hassles and extra expenses due to delays.
  • Reduced Training Needs: Since the ParaLens Advance uses an existing microscope, microscopists will not need to be retrained on and become comfortable with a totally new microscope, reducing technician training time and expense.
  • Reduced Maintenance Costs: The ParaLens Advance LED light source is designed to operate for a lifetime, unlike conventional fluorescence products that require regular replacement of costly light bulbs.

For all service inquiries, please contact the Drucker Diagnostics Technical Service Department at +1-866-265-1486 (U.S. only) or Our Technical Support Representatives are available Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST).

Otherwise, contact your nearest Drucker Diagnostics office for assistance. To locate a service center near you, please click here.

Limited Warranty

The ParaLens Advance comes with a one year limited warranty from the date of original shipment from Drucker Diagnostics. For more information about the ParaLens Advance limited warranty, please consult the ParaLens Advance operator's manual.

The following video is designed to walk users through installation of the ParaLens Advance:

Additionally, the ParaLens Advance user guide and product manual each contain illustrated, step-by-step installation instructions.


The ParaWorld line of training products has been established to educate users on the many benefits and applications of fluorescence microscopy. For a list of ParaWorld training resources, please consult its product page.

QBC systems have been in use globally for over 25 years with active installations on every continent, including Antarctica. There are over 15,000 active hematology systems worldwide and at least 1,500 fluorescent microscopy system using our Malaria, Parasitology, and AFB kits. If you would like references for any of our innovative solutions from users near you, please contact us.

Fluorescence microscopy technology has been used widely in tropical diagnostics and has shown significant utility for many microbiological assays. Listed below are abstracts and links for scientific articles that report or discuss the utility of fluorescence microscopy for many different applications.


Minion, J., Sohn, H., and Pai, M. (2009) Light-emitting diode technologies for TB diagnosis: what is on the market? Expert Review of Medical Devices 6(4): 341-345.
Ramsay A, Cuevas LE, Mundy CJF, Nathanson C-M, Chirambo P, et al. (2009) New Policies, New Technologies: Modelling the Potential for Improved Smear Microscopy Services in Malawi. PLoS ONE 4(11): e7760. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007760.
Armstrong, D. (Dec. 2009 / Jan. 2010) LED-based fluoroscopy and the Paralens system: illuminating the future of TB diagnostics. Clinical Laboratory International.
Walter Kuhn, Derek Armstrong, Suzanne Atteberry, Euline Dewbrey, Diane Smith and Nancy Hooper (2010) Usefulness of the Paralens™ Fluorescent Microscope Adaptor for the Identification of Mycobacteria in Both Field and Laboratory Settings
Maria T. Giordani, Enrico Brunetti, Michela Pascarella, Tom Heller, Walter F. Kuhn (2012) Point-Of-Care Use Of Led Fluorescence Microscopy Combined With Ultrasound In The Diagnosis Of Extra-Pulmonary Tb: Preliminary Results
Kouassi N’Guessan, Brian Joseph Hnatkovich, N’Guetta Aka, Armand Achy-Brou, Bakary Coulibaly, Jean Marc Assande, Philomène Mohoudi, Mireille Dosso (2013) QBC ParaLens LED fluorescent microscope attachment with QBC F.A.S.T. AFB staining system. Journal of Tuberculosis Research Vol. 1, No. 3 40-43 (2013)


Anthony, R.L., Bangs, M.J., Anthony, J.M., and Purnomo. (1992) On-site diagnosis of Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, and P. malariae by using the Quantitative Buffy Coat system. Journal of Parasitology. 78(6):994-8.


Bailey, J.W. and Smith, D.H. (1994) The quantitative buffy coat for the diagnosis of trypanosomes. Tropical Doctor 24(2):54-6.


Freedman, D.O. and Berry, R.S. (1992) Rapid Diagnosis of Bancroftian Filariasis by Acridine Orange Staining of Centrifuged Parasites. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 47(6): 787-793.

Pneumocystis Carinii

A. R. Mattia, M. A. Waldron, and L. S. Sierra. (1993) Use of the UV ParaLens adapter as an alternative to conventional fluorescence microscopy for detection of Pneumocystis carinii in direct immunofluorescent monoclonal antibody-stained pulmonary specimens. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 31(3): 720-721.


Mattia, A.R., Waldron, M.A., and Sierra, L.S. (1993)Use of the Quantitative Buffy Coat system for detection of parasitemia in patients with babesiosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 31(10):2816-8.


Kramer, K.J., Pang, L.W., Minette, H.P., and Perrone, J.B. (1994) Evaluation of the quantitative buffy coat analysis (QBC) system for the detection of Leptospira in human blood. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health 25(4):788-9.


Polsuwan, C., Lumlertdaecha, B., Tepsumethanon, W., and Wilde, H. (1992) Using the UV ParaLens adapter on a standard laboratory microscope for fluorescent rabies antibody detection. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 86(1):107.