Imaging Resources

The Department of Veterinary Medicine's Core Facility Imaging Resources include a number of microscopes and imaging instruments capable of imaging a range of live or fixed samples from ultrastructural details to cells, tissues and whole animals using fluorescence, bioluminescence, staining or unlabeled sample techniques.  

For resources and tutorials on various imaging techniques, you can visit:

Available Instruments

LSM800 Confocal Microscope

Our ZEISS LSM800 Confocal microscope is the department's main imaging platform with a wide range of applications for fixed or live samples. 

Confocal microscopy allows for high resolution imaging of cell and tissue samples to analyze localization and/or intensity of fluorescence... 


The Zeiss LSM800 Confocal microscope is well suited for imaging fixed samples, from tissue section to single cell or live samples (Using the stage add-on for heat and CO2).

Acquisition is set for up to 4 diverse fluorophores (405, 488, 561, 640 nm lasers) with two sensitive GaAsp detectors for fluorescence and one transmitted light PMT.

The confocal can be used for colocalization studies, z-stack/3D reconstruction, live imaging/time course, tile and stitching (for samples too large to fit in the field of view) as well as imaging multiple points during live imaging experiments, etc…  

The LSM 800 Confocal is available through online reservation on a dedicated Google calendar after completing a training session. Contact the Core Facility Director ( to receive training and join the online reservation calendar.  


Microscope Stand: Zeiss AxioObserver Inverted microscope with Definite focus (for live imaging applications) and motorized stage.

Objectives: 10x, 40x Water and 63x Oil are currently available on the microscope. 

Colibri 7: LED light source with standard filters for DAPI, RFP, GFP and Cy5 for ocular sample location.

Laser Lines: 405nm, 488, 561, 640 with filter sets for DAPI, GFP, RFP and Cy5 fluorescence for confocal imaging. 

Detectors: 2 GaAsP detectors. Gallium arsenide phosphide photomultiplier tubes (GaAsP PMTs) display high light collection efficiencies over a broad spectral range. Their low dark noise levels also make them the ideal tool for detecting faint signals in low expressing cells. The gain in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) will increase productivity by achieving faster scan speeds while preserving high image quality. Low laser powers avoid photobleaching and phototoxicity in live cell imaging applications.

Definite Focus.2: This system enables  the  image  of  a  specimen  to  be  kept  focused  during  long-term  analysis  (lasting for some hours or days) of biomedical samples. This is achieved through elimination of temperature drift effects, in particular in time-lapse and multi-position experiments.

Software: Zeiss Zen Blue 2.6

Stage-top incubator: The stage-top incubator provides heating from ambient temperature, ie 22 degrees - 60 degrees Celsius with carbon dioxide regulation.The incubation system is controllable via the microscope's TFT interface. A number of stage inserts are available including Petri dish, 6 well plate, 12 well plate, 48 well plate and 96 well plate. A holder for chamber slides is also provided. There are objective heaters for the 40x/1.1 NA water immersion objective and the 63x/1.4 NA oil immersion objective. Objective heaters are not required for dry objective lenses. Multipoint imaging is possible during live imaging.

User Information

For more information on the Observer Stand, visit:

For more information on the Colibri 7 light source, visit:

For an overview and tutorials of the ZEN software, check out:

Observer Z1 Motorized Epifluorescence Microscope

The Zeiss observer Z1 microscope is equipped with an LED light source and a 4 color filter system for the most in demand fluorescent dyes and proteins. The ZEN software makes sample navigation and imaging a simple but customizable process. 


The Observer Z1 is a fully computer controlled epifluorescence inverted microscope suitable for imaging fixed or live samples (at room temperature) on slides or plates. This microscope is a good option to take and retain images of your samples for quantification or comparison purposes between treatments or cell types. Because of its HBO light source, it less suitable as a way to check on your sample for fluorescent protein expression before an experiment (check out the Axiovert 200M for that purpose instead). 

The Z1 microscope is equipped with a motorized stage allowing for tiling (increasing your field of imaging as needed) or multiple point imaging. Z-stack and low level deconvolution options are also available to improve image quality.


Light Source: is an HBO mercury bulb with standard filters for DAPI, RFP, GFP and Cy5. Important Note: The HBO bulb needs to stay on for at least 30 min and stay off between users at least 30 min to avoid damaging the bulb and decreasing its lifespan.

Objectives: 5x, 10x, 40x Water and 63x Oil/DIC are currently available on the microscope.

Software: The Z1 is equipped with ZEN blue for piloting the system and analyzing or processing data.

Axiovert 200M Epifluorescence Microscope


The Axiovert 200M is an inverted epifluorescence microscope suitable for imaging fixed or live samples (at room temperature) on slides or plates. This microscope is a good option to quickly verify fluorescence intensity or expression levels  of fluorescent markers or proteins in your fixed or live samples before using them for an experiment. Because its LED light source can be turned on and off more quickly than the HBO on the Z1, it is more suitable for high and unpredictable traffic from a number of users.

The Axiovert microscope is equipped with a camera to quickly image your samples using the Axiovision software, but does not have a motorized stage.


Light Source: LED light source with standard filters for DAPI, RFP, GFP.

Objectives: 20x (NA 0,3 Ph1), 20x (NA 0,8), 40x (NA 0,5 Ph2, LD A-Plan), 40x (NA 1,3 Oil) and 63x (NA 1,4 Oil/DIC) are currently available on the microscope.

Software: AxioVision. 



AxioLab A1 Microscope


The Axiolab A1 is a transmitted light microscope equipped with 5x, 10x and 63x objectives and a color camera to check and image samples on a routine basis for cell culture, cell growth and more. 

IVIS Lumina in Vivo Imaging System

The IVIS system allows for fluorescence or bioluminescence imaging in animals or even culture dishes. 

The IVIS Lumina XR is a Fluorescence and Bioluminescence Imaging, All-In-One, system for small animals or various culture dishes and plates. It is accompanied by the XGI-8 rodent anesthesia system and a syringe injection system for a wide array of animal in vivo imaging needs.


The IVIS Lumina XR can be used to study infectious diseases, inflammation studies, metabolic diseases, neurology, gene therapy, stem cell biology, cardiovascular disease, immunology, transplantation biology, drug metabolism studies and oncology research (follow tumor progression, monitor response to therapeutic treatments, metastasis, cell tracking, and tumor burden monitoring). 


The IVIS Lumina XR is equipped to image common fluorescent and bioluminescent reporters with a range of filter sets to image commonly used reporters. High resolution, sharp cut-off filters are interchangeable to achieve the highest performance, sensitivity and spectral un-mixing.
The IVIS Lumina XR also accommodates Petri dishes or micro-titer plates for in vitro imaging. It includes a heated stage to keep animals from becoming hypothermic during lengthy imaging procedures.

Note: this instrument does not have a functioning X-Ray system anymore.


User Information

For more information on the system and its uses, visit:

For  information and specifications on the XGI-8 anesthesia system, visit:

For extensive resources about the IVIS Lumina XR, visit:

JOEL 1200 electron microscope

Our JOEL 1200 electron microscope is available to users who are working on analysis applications. The microscope includes a digital camera.


  • Imaging core rates apply to all trained, eligible users and is current for the academic year. The rates are adjusted each year.
  • Users within the Department of VetMed: $15/hour
  • On-campus users not affiliated with the department: $26.00/hour
  • Users not affiliated with the campus: $45.00/hour

Core Facility Contact

For more information please contact:

Dr. Matthias Corrotte
Core Facility Director
Phone: 301-314-1240