Imaging Facility

The shared Boston College imaging facility has 712 sq. ft. of space within Higgins Hall, the physics and biology building completed in 2002 on the main campus of BC. The facility has five separate spaces for microscopes and office space for the facility manager (Bret Judson), which also houses several workstations for image analysis by facility users. Bench space is available for set up of experiments and a fume hood is present within the facility.

Axioplan 2

Axioplan 2. Zeiss Axioplan 2: The Axioplan 2 imaging is a universal upright microscope which is used for light (transmitted and incident) and fluorescence microscopy. Fluorescence illumination is provided by a Lumencor SOLA light engine. This light engine is more user and environmentally friendly by eliminating the need for a mercury lamp. The microscope is controlled by Micromanager software (operating a cooled ccd black/white Hamamatsu camera) and allows collection of time-lapse images in both DIC and fluorescent channels (DAPI, FITC, TRITC). An objective heater ensures tissue culture cell integrity during time-lapse experiments. In addition, the microscope is equipped with a digital color camera (SPOT, Insight) enabling collection of stained histology tissue sections.

Axioimager Z2

Axioimager Z2. This is an upright microscope outfitted for both transmitted (including DIC, and phase) and fluorescence imaging. Fluorescence illumination is provided by an EXFO LED light source eliminating the mercury lamp. It is fully automated allowing acquisition in multiple X, Y and Z positions. The microscope is equipped with objectives from 5x to 100x. Image capture and analysis is through the Zeiss ZEN software. For large data sets there is an off-line image analysis workstation running ZEN.


Confocal SP5Leica TCS SP5 scanning confocal microscope: This system is ideal for 3D imaging of UV and visible fluorophores in fixed or live samples. For long-term imaging of live samples this system is set up with an Oko-lab environmental incubation chamber allowing temperatures from ambient to 40°C. For researchers needing micro-fluidics capacity the system can be run with a facility owned CellASIC Onix micro-perfusion system. This system can combine transmitted light techniques with confocal imaging for a highly flexible platform. The Leica software running this system allows for time lapse, Z Stacks and 3D reconstruction.

Confocal SP2.

Confocal SP2Leica TCS SP2 scanning confocal microscope: This system can be set up on either an upright or inverted stand, providing flexibility to the types of samples that can be imaged (3D imaging of fluorophores in fixed or live samples). The Leica software on these two systems allows for time lapse, Z Stacks and 3D reconstruction.


Evos. Life Technologies EVOS FL: This is an inverted microscope that allows imaging in a variety of configurations from slides to 96-well plates. The microscope is equipped with a variety of dry objectives and can be upgraded easily to include oil immersion objectives. Illumination is all LED eliminating the mercury lamp traditionally used for fluorescence illumination.

Spinning Disk.

Spinning Disk. Nikon spinning disk confocal: The facility houses a spinning disk confocal (Prairie laser launch) on a Nikon TE-2000U microscope. The laser launch includes lasers for 488 and 561nm. Brightfield images can also be captured (including DIC). For environmental control there are 2 stage inserts that can be used, one for cooling and one for heating. The system is fully motorized in X, Y, and Z allowing multi-point captures over time. For imaging the system uses a Hamamatsu Orca R2 camera and image capture and analysis is through Metamorph.

WorkstationWorkstation with image analysis software: There is an off-line image analysis computer running both Windows and Mac OS. This computer can be used for any off-line image analysis including Leica LAS, Fiji, and Prism software. 

The microscopes are located in room 525. For all microscope questions and training, please contact: Bret Judson.