The University of California, San Diego Microscopy Imaging Core has grown to be a centerpiece for cellular imaging research within the community, with over 150 labs and 400 regular users. Its existence has resulted in remarkable yields in productivity, expanded scientific scope and ability to test hypotheses using cutting edge technology and in vivo approaches. The success can be measured in over 100 publications in all areas of biological and health-related fields that rely on the Core to provide expertise. The Core currently has nine imaging systems that provide confocal, deconvolution, spinning disk, two photon, laser dissection low power, and high content microscopy imaging and onsite microscopists to make maximal use of the tools. These tools provide UCSD researchers flexible platforms to determine the ideal imaging modality for specific applications, and to provide training opportunities in a broad array of modern imaging tools. In this application, we seek to expand the scope of the Core by providing Super-high resolution microscopy to the Users. Recent breakthroughs in photonics research have led to the development of several methods that break the theoretical diffraction-limited resolution of fluorescent microscopy. These systems all utilize novel methods to essentially """"""""shrink"""""""" the effective ring of excitation within a sample to greatly enhance the signal:noise ratio, providing resolution of objects in the 50-200 nm range, which is 2-10X higher than previous generation systems. We have performed demonstrations of these systems, and determined that the Applied Precision OMX Super-Resolution system, the only one designed and manufactured in the USA, is the best match for our Core. The OMX system utilizes """"""""structure illumination"""""""" to enhance resolution, works with all currently available fluores, increases resolution in all three dimensions (x-y-z) and is perfectly suited for a multi-user facility. We have obtained institutional support and competitive pricing that will us to purchase and manage this system with the help of this NCRR-based funding mechanism. This system will bring the reality of super-resolution imaging, which will allows flexibility, dynamic range, sensitivity and imaging processing capabilities into an already highly-integrated campus-wide Core which supports the imaging needs a multitude of NIH-funded projects.
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