QBI Histology and Microscopy

The QBI Microscopy Facility

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“La Résistance” confocal image of neurons in the mouse brain, captured by J Gonzalez. 2013

The QBI Advanced Microscopy Facility is one of the largest and most diverse light microscopy facilities in the Southern Hemisphere. Built around 24 high-end instruments, it offers researchers access to state-of-the-art imaging technology, leading visualisation software and experienced staff for training, support and experiment advice. The facility’s capabilities allow 3D imaging of whole brains through to sub-cellular structures within neurons with techniques such as single-photon/two-photon scanned light-sheet microscopy, structured illumination microscopy, single-molecule localisation microscopy (PALM/STORM), single-molecule reconstruction and tracking, spinning disk confocal microscopy, two-photon microscopy, FLIM, FRAP, calcium imaging, stereology and automatic slide scanning. Many of the instruments have been designed to allow imaging of live neurons and organisms to allow the study of dynamic processes related to neuroscience research, such as axon regeneration and neuronal survival. Researchers are supported by cloud-based deconvolution and image segmentation and analysis using Huygens Professional, ilastik, CellProfiler, Imaris and Amira hosted on a GPU cluster and remote access data storage and management.

For further information on the facility please contact the facility manager, Rumelo Amor.

Services Include:

  • Information and advice on imaging techniques and experiment design.
  • Instrument training: from basic use through to advanced techniques
  • Training in post-acquisition analysis – including Imaris, Amira, ilastik, Neurolucida, CellProfiler, deconvolution, Image/FIJI
  • Ongoing tailored advice and support for imaging projects

Technical capabilities:

  • Two-photon/single-photon scanned light-sheet microscopy
  • Bright-field and multi-channel fluorescence microscopy
  • Laser scanning confocal microscopy, including spectral imaging and multi-positional imaging
  • Rapid spinning disk confocal imaging for experiments in tissue and cells
  • Super-resolution imaging using single-molecule localisation and structured illumination
  • Two-photon and confocal microscopy for tissue imaging and nano-scissor experiments
  • Long-term (48+ hrs) live imaging in bright-field and fluorescence
  • Rapid-acquisition live imaging for intra-cellular trafficking and calcium imaging
  • TIRF imaging for observing proteins on the cell surface
  • FRET and FLIM imaging for detecting protein interactions
  • Slide scanners for automated large scale tissue imaging in bright-field and fluorescence
  • Imaging of micro-fluidic devices
  • High-throughput screening of tissue and fluorescence in multi-well plates and dishes
  • Stereology for quantifying cell numbers and analysing axon tracks
  • Neurolucida and Imaris for neuron structure analysis and tracing

Spontaneous activity in the zebrafish brain, recorded using QBI’s custom-built light-sheet microscope and colour-coded for when the neurones are firing. Specimen: Dr Zac Pujic (Goodhill Lab)

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