Advanced Light Microscopy and Spectroscopy Laboratory

Providing a unique collection of leading-edge optical microscopes, small-animal imaging devices, and fluorescent probes

Optical Microscopy

Advanced Light Microscopy and Spectroscopy Laboratory

Overview:

The Advanced Light Microscopy and Spectroscopy (ALMS) laboratories provide a unique collection of high-end, customized fluorescence microscopes, small-animal imaging devices, and fluorescent probes to perform fluorescence-based measurements at various spatial (nm to cm), temporal (ns to days) and spectral (UV-NIR ) ranges. Our laboratory provides consultative services and offers support for the application of novel spectroscopic methods and advanced microscopy techniques to achieve high spatial and temporal resolution from whole in vivo animal imaging down to sub-70 nm imaging using super-resolution nanoscopy techniques. Along with access to specialized state-of-the-art instrumentation, we train investigators in advanced imaging techniques which are used to study macromolecules, cellular dynamics and to characterize biomaterials with nanometer-accuracy. Our laboratories offer open access to all academic investigators from local, national and overseas universities as well as to small start-up and mid-size companies.

Mission

The mission of the facilities is to provide consultation, services and support for the application of novel microscopic and spectroscopic methods and advanced image analysis techniques for the study of macromolecules, cellular dynamics and nano-scale characterization of bio-materials. The facility provides a collection of high-level, customized biological fluorescence microscopes and small-animal imaging devices that provide the ability to study biological processes with high spatial and temporal resolution in whole organisms and in living cells down to the single molecule detection level with nanometer-accuracy. Located on the basement and second floors of the CNSI building, two optical suites of 1,000 square feet each were specifically designed to house our microscopes with the required environment control (low vibration, air-filtered, air-conditioned to ±1°C and light-tight) and services. The facility currently provides the following services: Wide-field Fluorescence Imaging Microscopy (on a limited basis), Confocal One-Photon and Two-Photon Laser Scanning Microscopy, (both point scanning and spinning disk), Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), microscopic and macroscopic Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) with Time-Correlated-Single-Photon-Counting (TCSPC) and Near-Infrared (NIR) Detection, Stimulated Emission Depletion laser-scanning microscopy (STED) (a super-resolution technique), both microscopic and macroscopic (small animal) spectral unmixing and laser capture microdissection.

Center Highlights
  • Fluorescence imaging at all length scales
  • Consultation, service and training
  • Dissemination and teaching
  • Collaborative research and development
  • Academic and industrial partnerships
  • First super-resolution STEP microscopy in the US (sub-70 nm resolution)
  • Macromolecules, cellular dynamics and nano-scale characterization of biomaterials
  • 10 controlled-environment optical rooms
  • More than 1100 registered users: 322 faculty PIs from 154 departments
  • More than 310 peer-reviewed research publications

Capabilities:

Fluorescence imaging at all length scales: from single-molecule detection to in vivo small animal imaging

The field of optical microscopy imaging is experiencing major technical advances which are allowing cell biologists and physicians to visualize a new, dynamic, sub-cellular world where genes and gene products interact in space and time, in health and disease with nanometer-accuracy.

Micro- and nano-scale imaging

Located on the lowest floor of the CNSI building, ALMS is an optical suite of 1,800 square feet specifically designed to house light microscopes with the required environment control (low vibration, air-filtered, air-conditioned to ±1°C and light-tight) and services. The facility currently provides: wide-field fluorescence imaging microscopy, stereo microscopy, iterative deconvolution and computationally derived optical sectioning, confocal one-photon and two-photon laser scanning confocal microscopy imaging, Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET ), Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM), time-correlated-single-photon-counting (TCSPC), near-infrared (NIR) imaging, and a super-resolution Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) confocal microscope for probing biological and artificial molecular systems at the nanoscale offering ~70 nm spatial resolution.

Macro-scale small animal imaging

Located on the second floor of the CNSI building, a second optical suite of 1,800 square feet houses light microscopes and other optical instruments to image small live animals (rodents, zebrafish, drosophila, and C. elegans). We have assembled a comprehensive collection of commercial and custom built systems for deep tissue, multi-spectral imaging in small animals. This instrumentation is based on visible and NIR fluorescence, lifetime and spectral imaging modalities, laser capture micro-dissection, and spinning disk fast confocal microscopy. An adjacent dedicated vivarium is available for rodents undergoing longitudinal imaging studies.

Optical Microscopy

Overview:

 

The Advanced Light Microscopy and Spectroscopy (ALMS) laboratories provide a unique collection of high-end, customized fluorescence microscopes, small-animal imaging devices, and fluorescent probes to perform fluorescence-based measurements at various spatial (nm to cm), temporal (ns to days) and spectral (UV-NIR ) ranges. Our laboratory provides consultative services and offers support for the application of novel spectroscopic methods and advanced microscopy techniques to achieve high spatial and temporal resolution from whole in vivo animal imaging down to sub-70 nm imaging using super-resolution nanoscopy techniques. Along with access to specialized state-of-the-art instrumentation, we train investigators in advanced imaging techniques which are used to study macromolecules, cellular dynamics and to characterize biomaterials with nanometer-accuracy. Our laboratories offer open access to all academic investigators from local, national and overseas universities as well as to small start-up and mid-size companies.

Center Highlights
  • Optical and fluorescence imaging at all length scales
  • Consultation, service and training
  • Collaborative research and development
  • First super-resolution STEP microscopy in the US
  • Macromolecules, cellular dynamics and biomaterials

Services:

Fluorescence imaging at all length scales: from single-molecule detection to in vivo small animal imaging

The field of optical microscopy imaging is experiencing major technical advances which are allowing cell biologists and physicians to visualize a new, dynamic, sub-cellular world where genes and gene products interact in space and time, in health and disease with nanometer-accuracy.

Micro- and nano-scale imaging

Located on the lowest floor of the CNSI building, ALMS is an optical suite of 1,800 square feet specifically designed to house light microscopes with the required environment control (low vibration, air-filtered, air-conditioned to ±1°C and light-tight) and services. The facility currently provides: wide-field fluorescence imaging microscopy, stereo microscopy, iterative deconvolution and computationally derived optical sectioning, confocal one-photon and two-photon laser scanning confocal microscopy imaging, Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET), Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM ), time-correlated-single-photon-counting (TCSPC), near-infrared (NIR) imaging, and a super-resolution Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) confocal microscope for probing biological and artificial molecular systems at the nanoscale offering ~70 nm spatial resolution.

Macro-scale small animal imaging

Located on the second floor of the CNSI building, a second optical suite of 1,800 square feet houses light microscopes and other optical instruments to image small live animals (rodents, zebrafish, drosophila, and C. elegans). We have assembled a comprehensive collection of commercial and custom built systems for deep tissue, multi-spectral imaging in small animals. This instrumentation is based on visible and NIR fluorescence, lifetime and spectral imaging modalities, laser capture micro-dissection, and spinning disk fast confocal microscopy. An adjacent dedicated vivarium is available for rodents undergoing longitudinal imaging studies.