Microscopes were first invented in the 1590s and quickly became a fundamental part of research to visualize tissues and cells. In the 1940s, confocal microscopy was first introduced to increase optical resolution. The ability to image tissue at different depths enabled the reconstruction of three-dimensional structures within an object which greatly aided in understanding the relationship between different intracellular structures as well as the structural relationship between cells and neurons in healthy and diseased tissues. Due to this ability to interrogate biological structures in such detail, confocal microscopy has become an essential tool for scientists. Here, we request a new Nikon A1R HD25 MP ready confocal microscope which will replace our existing Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope that is over 12 years old (obtained with ShEEP funds in 2008). The Nikon A1R confocal has multiple advancements, including higher resolution, larger imaging area, faster acquisition speed, increased analytical throughput, more sophisticated imaging software that includes artificial intelligence components, live cell imaging and the ability to perform electrophysiology recordings simultaneously. Importantly, this new Nikon A1R confocal microscope can be easily upgraded to include multiphoton capabilities in the future, using the same footprint. Eighteen investigators at the Atlanta VA Healthcare System were identified that would be major and minor users of this microscope. They were eager to support this proposal with anticipation that upgrading to the Nikon A1R confocal microscopy would enhance their research by providing advanced imaging options. Thus, we propose the purchase of the Nikon A1R confocal microscopy system to support and accelerate the innovative research being performed by Atlanta VA investigators to improve veteran healthcare.
The goal of this proposal is to provide cutting-edge, state-of-the-art confocal microscopy to the investigators at the Atlanta VA Healthcare System. Confocal microscopy is an essential tool for research and the proposed system has multiple advancements that will support and advance the imaging needs of our investigators, including higher resolution, larger imaging area, faster acquisition speed, increased analytical throughput, more sophisticated imaging software that includes artificial intelligence components, live cell imaging and the ability to perform electrophysiology recordings simultaneously. These features will propel the research performed by Atlanta VA investigators with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare to veterans.