The Imaging and Cell Structure Core (ICSC) of the Liver Center provides Liver Center Investigators with the reagents, equipment, analytic tools, and expertise to perform 'state of the art'microscopy techniques. The ICSC operates in conjunction with our institution-wide Analytical Imaging Facility (AIF), which provides access to and training on maintained top ofthe line fluorescence and electron microscopes. Advanced analytical imaging techniques, available in the Core, are not readily available in individual laboratories. The Core facilitates use of imaging techniques in liver research by supporting and assisting with use of specialized instrumentation, including laser scanning confocal microscopy, deconvolution microscopy, multi-photon microscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy. In addition, the Core provides expertise in and assistance with specialized imaging techniques such as correlative microscopy, vesicle tracking, volumetric measurements, ultrastructural sample preparation, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). Technical support for assisted or independent use of such instrumentation is provided and Liver Center (LC) Investigators receive priority and reduced rates (10%) for use of facility instrumentation and services. In addition, assistance is available for planning experiments to utilize imaging techniques, interpret light and electron microscopic data, design fluorescent protein fusions, and select appropriate fluorescent dyes and proteins. The Core has an extensive catalog of fluorescent protein plasmids, dye-labeled antibodies, organelle markers, and other reagents available to LC Investigators. In conjunction with the Gruss Lipper Biophotonics Center, the Core provides recommendations to update equipment, anticipate emerging imaging and cell structure methods, and to remain at the leading edge of imaging technology for LC Investigators.
Microscopy and imaging enable liver investigators to detect and quantitate processes ranging from molecular interactions within cells to cell division in tissues. The potential for considerable insights provided by imaging approaches requires access to the latest technologies and the expertise to successfully employ them. The Imaging and Cell Structure Core provides Liver Research Investigators with state of the art instruments, analytical tools: reagents, and consultations to successfully incorporate imaging into their studies.
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