At the AOMC, all microscopes are capable of imaging both live and fixed samples. However, each system (technique) has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, making them more or less suited for different applications. Several microscopes are equipped with an enclosing incubator and stage inserts that allow precise temperature and pH control for optimal sample conditions.
Ideally suited for fast multicolor imaging of live samples. Due to the nature of widefield fluorescence imaging, it is best suited for thin samples such as monolayers of cultured cells to reduce the amount of out-of-focus light that can blur the images. Learn more about the Elyra PS.1 widefield fluorescence microscope here.
Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and imaging using a highly inclined and laminated optical (HILO) sheet reduces the amount of out-of-focus blur on a widefield fluorescence microscope by limiting the part of the sample that is excitated by the laser beam. While greatly increasing the contrast of images, the sample region that can be imaged is also reduced (e.g. limited to a few 100nm depth for TIRF). Learn more about the Elyra PS.1 widefield fluorescence microscope here.
Known as the workhorse microscopy technique in biological and biomedical research. Confocal microscopy allows imaging in thicker samples while maintaining very sharp focus. The method is extremely well suited for multidimensional (xyztc) acquisitions, but is generally slower than widefield microscopy. Learn more about the LSM510 confocal microscope here and about the LSM880 confocal microscope here.
Two-photon excitation microscopy allows to image even deeper into tissue and is thus ideally suited for imaging thicker tissue samples. The nature of the excitation inherently results in good optical sectioning making the method ideally suited for multidimensional acquisitions. Learn more about the LSM510 confocal microscope here and about the LSM880 confocal microscope here.