Integrated Microscopy Core Services


Access, Training and Fees


The services of the IMC are open to everyone at BCM, the Texas Medical Center and beyond. 

The first step to access the IMC is to set up a virtual or in person meeting to assess investigator’s research goals and match them with the best instrument for their needs. To set up an appointment, contact Dr. Fabio Stossi. 

Use of the instruments can be through IMC staff (assisted use) or independently after training.  The training fee (same as assisted use fee) is based on the cost of the instrument plus technical assistance time. View the Price List for details on each individual instrument.  After hour/weekend usage is available at reduced cost for experienced IMC users.  


Brightfield, Fluorescence, and Super-resolution Microscopy (live, fixed)


The IMC covers most basic techniques for live and fixed specimens, in brightfield/color and fluorescence (from ~400nm to ~720nm).  

For high quality bright field microscopy, a Nikon Eclipse CiL upright microscope is available, equipped with high-resolution color CCD camera and a range of magnifications from 4x to 100x using high quality objectives. As an alternative the Biotek Cytation 5 can be used for manual and semi-automated slide scanning. 

For fluorescence microscopy, the core offers the Biotek Cytation 5 equipped with standard DAPI, FITC, RFP, Texas Red, CY5 and CY7 filters and a range of magnifications from 2.5x to 60x air lenses. The Cytation 5 is also available for live imaging (both temperature and CO2 control) This instrument is also a standard plate reader for colorimetric, fluorometric and luminescence measurements.  The Gen5 software has also a set of image analysis tools. 

High-resolution fluorescence of thin samples (cell monolayers or tissue sections less than 20 microns of thickness) is available via a Cytivia DeltaVision Restoration Microscopy system, a deconvolution-based, wide-field optical microscope, available also for live cell imaging. This instrument is fully automated for Z-series acquisition, with up to four fluorescent channels. Available filter sets include DAPI, CFP, FITC, YFP, TRITC, Texas Red, and Cy-5. Image data collection and interpretation is made with SoftWorx image analysis and model-building software. 

A new Olympus IX83 will be come available soon. This microscope allows imaging of fluorescence channels from DAPI to Cy7. Image acquisition and processing (i.e., deconvolution) is available through Olympus CellSens software. 

Laser-scanning confocal microscopy is available through a Nikon A1Rs microscope which has four excitation lasers (405, 488, 568 and 646nm), live cell capabilities, a resonant and Galvano scanning system and spectral detection (up to 32 lambda stacks possible). Post-acquisition analysis is through the Nikon Elements software.

For long term live imaging, the IMC offers a Sartorius Incucyte S3, which is located inside a cell culture incubator, has 6 positions for simultaneous experiments, can perform dual fluorescence (FITC and TRITC) plus phase contrast.  The Incucyte software is also capable of basic image analytics (i.e., cell confluency, object counts and fluorescence intensity measurements).  


High Throughput Microscopy and Assay Development


We provide researchers assistance with all aspects of high throughput assay design, development, and analysis. This resource provides consultation (please set up an appointment with the Core Directors to discuss feasibility) and technical support for pilot experiments using chamber slides, 96- or 384-well plate formats for single cell fluorescence-based imaging studies or quantitative image analyses. 

The IMC houses a state-of-the-art Yokogawa CV8000 high throughput spinning disk confocal, which can perform simultaneous imaging of 4 fluorescence channels, live imaging (both long and short term), z-stacks, and has 4x-60x magnification objective, including 20x, 40x, and 60x water lenses which increase sensitivity, resolution and can image deeper in larger 3D structures.  The CV8000 also comes equipped with a powerful analysis software (CellPathfinder) for simple and complex pipeline generation.