The Kidney Imaging Core is an integral part of the Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research?s mission to support multidisciplinary and translational research that explores the physiology, pathophysiology, and molecular biology of the kidney. The Kidney Imaging Core complements each of the other Center cores by providing critical information about the amounts, localization, and dynamics of molecules, organelles, cells, and tissues in normal and disease states, and in cell cultures, tissue explants, animal models, and human tissues. The Kidney Imaging Core, along with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Biological Imaging (CBI), supports subcores that are dedicated to imaging urinary tract-associated epithelial cells, performing detailed stereology and three- dimensional tissue and organ reconstruction of the urinary tract, undertaking histopathology studies, and implementing live-cell/tissue/organ imaging studies. In addition, the Imaging Core provides access to human kidney tissues through our collaboration with the Center for Critical Care Medicine Tissue Bank. Cutting-edge imaging resources are available to our users including three-dimensional STED, confocal acquisition using light sheet illumination, high-speed TIRF, and the newest advances in multiphoton imaging. In addition, the Core supports freeze-fracture microscopy, all manner of scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and the latest implementations of tools needed for stereology and histopathology. The Core also provides users with secondary antibodies and access to our Validated Antibody Collection, which includes a growing number of antibodies that are carefully screened for specific binding to antigens and can be used to mark selective cell types in the urinary tract.
The aims of the Core are multifold: (1) to serve as a national center for imaging of kidney- and lower urinary tract-associated cells, tissues, and organs; (2) to support the specialized techniques, methods, and procedures utilized by the investigators that comprise the Pittsburgh Center for Kidney Research; (3) to provide for a higher standard of efficiency and quality control through the Core's ability to conduct procedures on a routine and consistent basis; (4) to transfer Kidney Imaging Core expertise to Center investigators through training mechanisms including distribution of protocols, hands-on training, and mini sabbaticals.
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