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. 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. 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 SP5. Leica 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.
Zeiss LSM 880-AS FAST Elyra.S1: This system combines several technologies in to one flexible platform. At the base level the system is the latest confocal microscope from Zeiss capable of imaging samples at multiple wavelengths from 405nm to 633nm and from magnifications of 10x to 100x. Included on the system are two “super-resolution” modalities – the Airyscan/FAST unit and the Elyra unit. The Airyscan technology improves resolution down to 140 nm laterally and 400 nm axially. In addition the Airyscan module can be run in the “FAST” mode for live samples. For users requiring better resolution than the Airyscan can provide the system has the Elyra unit which can provide resolution of 120nm laterally and 300nm axially. Depending on experimental needs users can freely change between any of these technologies. For samples requiring temperature control the system is outfitted with both heating and cooling inserts.
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. 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.
Workstation. Workstation 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.
Please note that all work performed in BC core facilities and recharge centers should always be appropriately acknowledged. If you are publishing or presenting data acquired in BC core facilities and recharge centers, please include the following statement in the Acknowledgement section of your manuscript/poster/presentation, "The authors would like to thank the Boston College <insert facility name> for assistance with the work presented in this paper/poster/presentation*."
* Delete as appropriate