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Complete Physiology Stages

  • Manual or Motorized Microscope Translators
  • U-Shaped Breadboard Designed for Microscopy


Application Idea


Shown with Nikon
FN1 Microscope

Related Items


  • Adjustable-Height U-Shaped Breadboard Provides 270° Access to Samples
  • Includes Microscope Translator (Three Versions Available):
    • Manual Microscope Translation
    • Motorized Microscope Translation
    • Encoded Motorized Microscope Translation
  • U-Shaped UltraLight™ Series Breadboard with Sealed Holes to Contain Spills

Modern imaging technology enables the study of physiological processes in living cells and animals. Image quality depends not only on state-of-the-art technology but also on the preparation of the specimens to be imaged. Imaging of live cells, tissues, and animals often requires the ability to position the specimens so that they remain stationary during image acquisition. To address these needs, Thorlabs has developed physiology stages that provide manual or motorized movement of the microscope about a stationary specimen.

These physiology stages consist of a rigid, mechanically and thermally stable U-shaped breadboard that provides more than two hundred 1/4"-20 (M6) tapped holes over a full 270°, which makes it easy to mount patch clamps or other experimental accessories. The breadboard has a removable Ø110 mm insert with an inset that can accommodate a standard microscope slide or Ø35 mm petri dish. The upper U-shaped breadboard is supported by four adjustable-height support columns (PHYS12P or PHYS12P/M), each of which can be adjusted from 8" to 12" (203 mm to 305 mm) and locked into place using a knurled ring locking collar. The base of each column is attached to a 1/2" (12.7 mm) thick solid aluminum breadboard measuring 24" x 24" (600 mm x 600 mm) with 1/4"-20 (M6) taps on 1.0" (25 mm) centers. This base allows the unit to maintain its factory alignment during transport; however, the aluminum breadboard can also be removed and the components can be directly mounted onto an anti-vibration table, such as our ScienceDesks. For more details on the individual components of our physiology stages, please see the Component Details tab.

Each physiology stage comes with either a manual or motorized 2" (50 mm) XY Travel Microscope Translator that is mounted to the base breadboard and provides smooth, repeatable movement in the XY direction while maintaining a stable platform for the microscope. Thorlabs' standard translators are compatible with the Nikon Eclipse FN1 upright microscope. Please email to inquire about adapter plates that are compatible with other common microscopes.

Many of the components of our physiology stages are available separately for custom applications. Please click here for more information.

Click on the components of the Physiology Stage, shown below, for further details. These components are also available separately for custom applications.

Custom Physiology Stage
Baseplate BreadboardU-Shaped BreadboardAdjustable-Height Support ColumnsAdjustable-Height Support ColumnsAdjustable-Height Support ColumnsAdjustable-Height Support ColumnsTranslator 

Manual Stage
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Encoded Motorized Translator
Motorized Stage
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Motorized Translator
Manual Stage
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Manual Translator

Microscope Translators

  • Manual, Motorized, and Motorized-Encoded Microscope Translators
  • Compatible with Nikon's FN1 Microscope
  • 2" (50 mm) XY Travel
  • 110 lbs (50 kg) Load Capacity

Our microscope translators are offered in three versions to meet a variety of experimental needs. Our manual translators offer micrometers with 10 µm graduations. Our motorized version features two stepper motor actuators to automate the movement of the microscope. The motorized version with encoder improves the bidirectional repeatability, which allows for very precise microscope positioning. Click here for more details.

U-Shaped Breadboard

Adjustable-Height Support Columns

  • Continuously Adjustable Height from 8" to 12"
  • Lockable Design
  • Top-Located 1/4" -20 (M6) Tap
  • Universal Base for Mounting to Work Surfaces with Imperial or Metric Taps
  • Load Capacity/Post: 300 lbs (136 kg)
  • Click Here for More Information

Base: Solid Aluminum Breadboard

  • Ensures all Components Maintain Factory Alignment
  • Imperial Physiology Stages Include MB2424
    • Dimensions: 24" x 24" x 1/2" Thick
    • 1/4"-20 Holes on 1" Centers
  • Metric Physiology Stages Include MB6060
    • Dimension: 600 mm x 600 mm x 12.7 mm Thick
    • M6 Holes on 25 mm Centers


Click the Support Documentation icon document icon or Part Number below to view the available support documentation
Part NumberProduct Description
PHYS24 Support Documentation PHYS24:Manual Physiology Stage (Imperial)
PHYS24/M Support Documentation PHYS24/M:Manual Physiology Stage (Metric)
PHYS24M Support Documentation PHYS24M:Motorized Physiology Stage (Imperial)
Part NumberProduct Description
PHYS24M/M Support Documentation PHYS24M/M:Motorized Physiology Stage (Metric)
PHYS24ME Support Documentation PHYS24ME:Motorized Physiology Stage with Encoders (Imperial)
PHYS24ME/M Support Documentation PHYS24ME/M:Motorized Physiology Stage with Encoders (Metric)

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Manual Physiology Stages

PHYS24(/M) Specifications
XY Travel 2" (50 mm)
Adjustment Micrometer
Vernier Graduations 10 µm
Load Capacity 110 lbs (50 kg)

Thorlabs' Manual Physiology Stages come with our LNR50M (LNR50M/M for the PHYS24/M) TravelMax Translation Stage, which incorporates micrometer drives that have a graduated scale. The manual microscope translator can be easily configured into left- or right-handed XY systems.

Please note that our standard stages are compatible with the Nikon Eclipse FN1 upright microscope. Please email to inquire about adapter plates for other common microscopes.

Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
PHYS24 Support Documentation
PHYS24Manual Physiology Stage (Imperial)
Lead Time
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available / Ships
PHYS24/M Support Documentation
PHYS24/MManual Physiology Stage (Metric)
Lead Time

Motorized Physiology Stages

The motorized versions of the microscope translators on our physiology stages are available either with or without encoders. The linear optical encoder mounts to the moving platform of the stage and provides feedback to the drive electronics to ensure a bi-directional repeatability. Our motorized translators come with two TST101 T-Cube Stepper Motor Controllers for motorized control. The encoded version comes with our BSC202 Two-Channel Benchtop Stepper Motor Controller, which can be controlled through a PC using the apt™ software package (more details may be found by clicking on the controller link above).

Please note that our standard stages are compatible with the Nikon Eclipse FN1 upright microscope. Please email to inquire about adapter plates for other common microscopes.

Item #PHYS24M(/M)
Motorized Physiology Stage
Motorized Physiology Stage with Encoders
XY Travel2" (50 mm)
AdjustmentStepper Motor
Velocity (Max)1 mm/s4 mm/s
Acceleration (Max)0.5 mm/s23 mm/s2
On-Axis Accuracy10 µm3 µm Over the Full Travel
Bi-Directional Repeatability0.5 µm0.3 µm
Velocity StabilityN/A±0.4 mm/s
EncoderN/AOptical Grating Incremental Encoder
Encoder ResolutionN/A0.1 µm
Load Capacity110 lbs (50 kg)
Based on your currency / country selection, your order will ship from Newton, New Jersey  
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Universal/Imperial Price Available / Ships
PHYS24M Support Documentation
PHYS24MMotorized Physiology Stage (Imperial)
Lead Time
PHYS24ME Support Documentation
PHYS24MEMotorized Physiology Stage with Encoders (Imperial)
Lead Time
+1 Qty Docs Part Number - Metric Price Available / Ships
PHYS24M/M Support Documentation
PHYS24M/MMotorized Physiology Stage (Metric)
Lead Time
PHYS24ME/M Support Documentation
PHYS24ME/MMotorized Physiology Stage with Encoders (Metric)
Lead Time
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