The Integrated Microscopy Facility (IMF) functions as a supervised, user-based Core providing state-of the- art microscopy imaging capabilities to UCCCC members and other University investigators. IMF staff additionally provide equipment maintenance, advice, and user training. Over half of the IMF usage is related to cancer research. Light microscopy offers one of the most flexible and informative tools available to researchers, providing scales of detail ranging from tens of millimeters to less than 10 nanometers. Available techniques provided by the IMF range from classic color histological stain imaging, to contrast generation in unstained cells, to fluorescence technologies. Capacity and capability have also increased annually by upgrades and purchases. Fluorescence methods continue to offer the greatest range of applications ranging from localization of multiple targets, to measurement of diverse biochemical or physiologic parameters in either fixed or living preparations. Accordingly, the greatest resources of the IMF are allocated to fluorescence microscopy. Over 100 peer-reviewed UCCCC investigators across the six Scientific Programs routinely used the IMF between 2008 and 2011, exceeding 50% of Facility usage in 2011. Overall use of the IMF continues to increase, presently exceeding 13,000 unit-hours annually (up from 9200h in 2007). Services provided by the IMF consist of the following: ? Provide high-end microscopy imaging capabilities, including brightfield (color, DIG, etc.), fluorescence (multi-dimension;TIRFM;bleaching, etc.), high-resolution, -speed, -sensitivity, confocal, and physiologic techniques. STED-CW super resolution microscopy is now available. ? Provide training on all instruments and expert advice to investigators regarding experiment design and execution. Provide oversight to assure proper equipment use and minimize breakage. ? Provide computers including networked data servers and software for image analysis (e.g., Huygens Professional deconvolution and Imaris packages) and image publication. ? Serve as an educational resource for University investigators in the use of current microscopy techniques and foster interactions among users. ? Serve as a demonstration site for new technologies.
Microscopy provides a fundamental and increasingly-capable tool for basic and translational research. The IMF provides hands-on access to advanced equipment maintained by experts, as well as training, assistance, and advice.
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