The Advanced Imaging Lab currently has a few microscopes divided in three categories.

  1. Stereoscopes: If your samples are not on the small size, you need an overview of your organism, have a plate with fluorescent signals or just need to dissect with fluorescence we have a decent selection of options at the UIC. Reservations are available here.
  2. Brightfield and Widefield Fluorescence Microscopes: A wide-field fluorescence microscope uses a lamp, e.g. a Mercury arc lamp, to illuminate and excite the specimen. This is a fast and economical way to obtain fluorescent images, which can be viewed directly with your eyes through the ocular or captured with a camera. Thin specimens that do not require confocal imaging might be better analyzed using a conventional widefield microscope as it offers unsurpassed signal to noise. Reservations are available here.
  3. Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope: Confocal microscopy offers several advantages over conventional widefield optical microscopy, including the ability to control depth of field, elimination or reduction of background information away from the focal plane (that leads to image degradation), and the capability to collect serial optical sections from thick specimens. Reservations are available here.


  • Hamamatsu Aequoria | Reservations

    The Aequoria MDS system is a macroscopic system to aquire luminescence in large samples like living large organisms, bacterial plates, plants or well plates, making it suitable for high-throughput screens. With an EMCCD chip it can detect the smallest signals on your samples with ease.

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  • Hamamatsu Aequoria

Brightfield and Widefield Fluorescence Microscopes

Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes

  • Zeiss META
  • Leica SP5 Inverted | Reservations

    Confocal microscopy permits one to optically section a fluorescent sample (such as a cell that has been stained with contrasting fluorescent dyes) with superior resolution by using a pinhole to reject light that originates outside of the chosen area. By collecting a series of such images through the depth of a sample, the user may assemble a highly accurate three-dimensional reconstruction of the entire sample. The Leica SP5 confocal microscope is equipped with a spectral head that employs a prism, movable slits, mirrors, and computer control to permit the operator to choose which bands of light at specific wavelengths will be focused simultaneously onto each of three photomultiplier detectors. This system also allows emission spectra (with 5-nm resolution) to be collected from a diffraction-limited-size spot.

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  • Lightseet Microscope | Reservations

    Light Sheet Microscopy (LSM) is a fluorescence microscopy technique, where the illumination is done perpendicularly to the detection. The technique shapes the illumination laser beam into a rectangle and then focuses it down only in one direction, using a cylindrical lens (SPIM) or galvanometric mirrors (DSLM). This forms a thin "sheet of light" right in the focal plane of the detection objective, illuminating the whole sample plane at the same time. A CMOS camera records the fluorescent signal. This allows obtaining images of a big area in a fast way with a good sectioning of the sample and out-of-focus light suppression. LSM is especially well suited for the investigation of the development of large samples to study features (such as gene expression patterns) that require high resolution while being extended over a large volume and a long period of time. It has been successfully used to track developmental processes on Zebra fish, Drosophila fly, C. elegans nematodes or Arabidopsis plants among others.

    More information on Lightsheet Microscope...

  • Zeiss META