Core Imaging Facility (CIF)

The Core Imaging Facility at RRC UIC provides shared access to advanced instrumentation for the imaging of cells and tissues. The CIF also coordinates hands-on training, experiment troubleshooting, and technical support relating to locally available fluorescent microscopy approaches.

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The Core Imaging Facility will work to accommodate any biological research that requires light, deconvolution, confocal, TIRF, and/or widefield fluorescent microscopy. The microscope systems currently in service include:

Zeiss Laser Scanning Microscope (LSM) 510 META

The LSM 510 META confocal microscope is a popular, full-featured instrument capable of optically sectioning living or fixed specimens of varying thickness. The specialized META detector can be used to capture detailed spectral information and customize emission filters for the elimination of signal overlap. An intuitive time-lapse imaging function is useful for kinetic studies and FRAP experiments, and the laser configuration settings are suitable for FRET measurements.

Zeiss Laser Scanning Microscope (LSM) 710

Though fundamentally similar to the LSM 510 META capabilities, the more advanced LSM 710 confocal microscope provides greater sensitivity and reduced background noise during acquisition. The upgraded ZEN software and “Smart Setup” feature allows for easy importing of fluorophore configurations, while the Definite Focus component can help to correct axial drift during long-term capture.

Zeiss Total Internal Reflectance Fluorescent (TIRF) Microscope

The versatile TIRF microscope is configured for several types of imaging, most notably for the precise visualization of structures or processes near cell membranes (< 200 nm). The system is also uniquely suited for live cell studies by way of a fully controllable (temperature, CO2, humidity) environmental chamber, which can supplement any of the transmitted light, fluorescence, or laser TIRF imaging modes.

Olympus VivaView Incubator/Fluorescence Microscope

The VivaView FL system consists of a motorized inverted microscope that is fully contained within a cell culture incubator. This integrated approach to long-term time-lapse imaging can thus extend the duration of acquisition, reduce thermal drift, and allow for precise chemical loading &em; all while providing high quality fluorescent and/or transmitted light capture.

Olympus BX51 Fluorescence Microscope

The BX51 fluorescence microscope is a simple upright fluorescence and bright field instrument with an assortment of objectives ranging from 4x to 100x magnification. The easy setup and highly-responsive CCD camera make the system an excellent choice when observations and analyses require a certain efficiency.

More detailed descriptions of all available equipment can be found in the instrument index. Such instruments can be individually reserved, and each comes with its own set of associated usage fees. Certain microscopes can also be outfitted with temperature-controlled stage inserts for live cell observation, as well as a semi-automated cell microinjection system. In addition, multiple workstations dedicated to digital image manipulation and analysis are always on standby in the facility.

If you are new to the facility and would like to begin training on one of the instruments, feel free to sign up for an initial 2 hour session through our online scheduler. Please indicate that you require “new user training” in the text box of the reservation window.

Normal business hours for the CIF are from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday thru Friday, though extended access can be provided with adequate training.