The Biological Imaging Facility (BIF) is a shared-use research and training resource available to all NU researchers. BIF is organized so users can prepare samples, capture and analyze images, and create final presentations in one facility. Training for all instruments is available on a regular basis so users can acquire data quickly and efficiently. We are continuously looking for new ways to enhance existing equipment, acquire new tools, and keep pace with current techniques. For more information about this facility, click here.
2205 Tech Dr Hogan Building Rooms 5-110, 5-120, 5-150Evanston , IL 60208
The DeltaVision Core is a fully integrated system based on an Olympus IX-71 inverted microscope stand with Ultimate Focus to correct for axial drift. The following objectives are available: 40X, 63X, and 100X oil-immersion 63X water-immersion This system has a high-power LED light source, 10-position excitation filter wheel, and 6-position emission filter wheel to provide rapid multi-channel acquisition. Two diode lasers (405 nm and 488nm) can be used for FRAP, photoactivation, and photoconversion. A high-efficiency EMCCD camera and integrated optics make deconvolution of z-stacks fast and easy. The opaque environmental chamber and speed option are optimized for long-term live-cell imaging.
The Cressington CFE-60 is an advanced Quick Freeze-Deep Etch (QFDE) apparatus. Specimens are quickly frozen by either impact freezing (Leica MM80) or high-pressure freezing (Leica EM-PACT2) immobilizing cell components instantly. The frozen specimen is transferred to the CFE-60 then placed under vacuum. The specimen can then be fractured with a cooled knife. The fracture surface is irregular and occurs along lines of weakness (e.g., plasma membrane). By raising the temperature of the specimen under vacuum, surface ice is removed leaving biological material standing in relief. A thin layer of carbon is evaporated onto the surface making a carbon replica; this replica is shadowed with platinum or another metal. Organic material is removed by treating with a bleach solution, leaving a replica. This carbon-metal replica is put on a grid and examined by a transmission electron microscope. The CFE-60 is often used to study membranes and reveal the pattern of integral membrane proteins. In addition to freeze-fracture, the CFE-60 will also perform rotary and uni-directional shadowing with Pt, Pt/C or W/Ta. A 1200W automatic power unit gives reproducible multi-shot W/Ta shadowing.
The Cressington Sputter Coater is used to apply a thin layer (≥1 nm) of metals or alloys to various specimens. Coating materials available: gold platinum:palladium gold:palladium titanium chromium aluminum
Installed in February 2008, the FEI Vitrobot™ Mark IV is a fully automated vitrification robot for plunge-freezing of aqueous (colloidal) samples. This next-generation includes a newly designed touch-screen user interface and an automated transfer from the vitrication medium into the liquid nitrogen atmosphere which allows for even more consistent and high-yield sample output. All essential vitrification parameters, such as temperature, relative humidity, the pressure and quantity of blottings, and drain time can be programmed for each individual application and set for automatic retrieval. Operating parameters: Working temperature 4 – 60°C (at an ambient temperature range between 18 – 25°C) Peltier controlled heating/cooling Relative humidity ambient humidity – 100% (no condensation at an RH < 85%) Ultrasonic controlled humidification
Acquired in 2003, the JEOL 1230 TEM is designed for conventional ultrastructure examinations as well as tomography, cryotomography, and immunocytochemical studies. Several specimen holders are available: a single position holder a multiple position holder that holds five specimens at once a tomography holder The 1230 is equipped with a Hamamatsu ORCA side-mounted camera, a Gatan 831 bottom-mounted CCD camera, and AMT imaging software for capturing high-resolution digital images. Traditional film photographic imaging is also available.
The EM AFS2 is capable of freeze substitution progressive lowering of temperature (PLT) techniques along with allowing low temperature embedding and polymerization of resins. The unit includes LED illumination for easy viewing and working within the chamber. The freeze subsitution processor EM FSP is an automatic reagent handling system which sits atop the EM AFS2. It dispenses reagents for both freeze substitution and PLT techniques. By automatically diluting reagents from 100% stock containers, it reduces reagent handling and user set up time. All the user needs to do is add their samples and reagents, press start and then return at the end of the run. Up to 20 samples can be processed automatically per run. Features: “Deep Freeze” allows sample transfer at temperatures below -140°C Mouse controlled color screen USB flash drive/memory stick connectivity Fume exhaust system for operator safety One step preparation Efficient UV polymerization with built-in LED UV lamp FS and PLT “Check” function guides operator for filling reagents minimizes operator contact with toxic material Reduces risk of specimen loss
Our Leica EM PACT2 High Pressure Freezer arrived in December of 2008. This instrument allows high quality freezing up to 200 µm into the specimen. Mounted on it’s own trolley, it is fully mobile. The Rapid Transfer System, EM RTS, accessory brings a new level in specimen preperation. Simply load your sample into the carrier and push that into the instrument — the EM RTS takes and locks the sample, then shoots it into the EM PACT2 to be frozen. The whole process happens in a matter of seconds. The High Pressure Freezer includes a touch-sensative color screen with an user-friendly interface. After the sample has been frozen, the screen will display the pressure and temperature curves, which can be stored on the instrument and then transfered to a USB flash drive. “A cell can be viewed under the confocal microscope, then quickly frozen with the EM PACT2/EM RTS, allowing the same cell to be viewed in the electron microscope. … With a turn-around time of 30 seconds for the EM PACT2, this means samples can be frozen at twice the rate of any other high pressure freezer.” – Leica Microsystems, Inc.
The Leica EM MM80 E is a metal mirror cryofixation system for impact freezing (slam freezing) of specimens measuring up to 20 mm in diameter. Specimens are rapidly frozen by attaching them to a holder then impacting them against a liquid nitrogen cooled gold-coated, highly-pure copper block. The specimens are frozen to form a vitreous (non-crystalline) ice layer which can either be freeze-substituted and subsequently prepared for TEM or further prepared using ourCressington QFDE. The MM80 has the highest possible cooling rates at ambient pressure and is well suited for larger specimens and also results in short turnaround time. Interchangeable specimen holders and easily exchangeable metal mirrors give flexibility in specimen type, enhance rapid specimen preparation, and yield highly reproducible results. Two independent, low-weight damping systems minimize formation of ice crystal artifacts and avoid compression regardless of specimen type. The EM MM80 E is an ideal instrument for biological samples, such as tissue slices and cell suspensions, as well as high-viscosity fluid samples, such as polymers.
Our Leica SP5 II LSCM offers an inverted configuration microscope with automatic focus control outfitted with the following objectives: 10X (NA – 0.4) air objective 20X (NA – 0.7) multi-immersion 40X (NA – 1.25) oil-immersion 63X (NA – 1.32) oil-immersion 100X (NA – 1.44) oil-immersion Four spectral channels can be acquired simultaneously or sequentially. Fluorphores can be excited by these lasers: Diode (405 nm) Ar (457, 476, 488, 514 nm) Green HeNe (561 nm) Red HeNe (633 nm) This system has a tandem scanner that has both a standard scanner (lower speed, resolution up to 8K X 8K) and a resonant scanner (higher speed, resolution up to 1K X 1K). In addition to standard PMTs this system has HyD detectors (GaAsP) that combine high-sensitivity and low noise. FRAP, FLIP, time-lapse imaging, lambda scanning, and high-speed imaging are possible on this system as well.
The Pelco BioWave Microwave Tissue Processor is available for the highest quality specimen preparation. The BioWave accelerates tissue processing so specimen can be obtained in one-tenth the normal time, with significantly less extraction.
Bulk biological specimen (along with hydrated materials) must be dried rapidly, without introducing artifacts, before they can be imaged in a scanning electron microscope. The Polaron Critical Point Dryer is the most efficient instrument for quickly drying specimens without the shrinking or cracking that accompanies other methods.
Our Zeiss Confocal microscope system was obtained with funds donated by the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation. The 510 Meta system is capable of high-quality standard confocal imaging. The ConfoCor3 is a state-of-the-art fluorescence correlation spectroscopy — a powerful method for molecular analysis in solution or in cells. FCS can be used to study: molecular distribution/diffusion protein complex formation receptor-ligand interactions
Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy
Networked Mac and PC workstations