This goal of this application is to acquire a state-of-the-art laser-scanning confocal microscope to support the research of 11 NIH-funded investigators at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC). The TNPRC is an NIH-supported national resource with a mission that integrates research, training and service in biomedical research to improve human and animal health through basic and applied biomedical research. The existing multiuser confocal system, a Leica TCS SP2 purchased in 2002 has been in continuous operation for over a decade and provided outstanding service to the research community. While the Leica TCS SP2 was state-of-the-art when purchased, the system no longer meets our needs with respect to multilabel imaging studies, photosensitivity, imaging quality, speed, and versatility. Furthermore, Leica will cease to provide service for the SP2 within the next year. In this application we present research projects from 11 investigators (8 Major users and 3 Minor users) whose work is performed at the TNPRC. These projects are primarily focused on infectious diseases and immunology which are areas of exceptional expertise at the TNPRC and that attract national and international collaborators. Each of the users has a strong history of NIH funding and needs for advanced imaging technology. We propose purchasing a Leica TCS SP 8 five-channel confocal microscopy imaging system with an inverted microscope, 6 strong laser lines (diode: 405 nm, Blue Ar: 458, 488, 514 nm, yellow diode: 561 nm, and red HeNe: 633 nm) with AOBS, and two AOTF (405 nm and visible), 3 hybrid GaAsP spectral detectors and 2 HS PMT and easy to use advanced software all of which are essential to the projects of the users. Compared to other premiere systems on the market we feel the Leica TCS SP 8 offers the best overall system in terms of quality, options, service, and price. It also is highly flexible and will be able to provide new services as required by the users. This new confocal microscope system is essential not only to the major and minor users listed in the application but to the mission of the TNPRC as a national resource for biomedical research using nonhuman primates. The availability of a newer, more reliable, sophisticated and versatile instrument such as the SP 8 is likely to attract additional investigators that require ths technology leading to new collaborations further expanding the scope of nonhuman primate research at the TNPRC.
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