Image Analysis

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.

For the Research Newsletter article featuring BIF, click here

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The  Pathology Core Facility (PCF) of Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCCC) at Northwestern University is established in 1997.  PCF is functionally divided into three divisions/units, including core lab, biorepository and clinical trials unit.  Core lab includes all related tasks of routine histology, immunohistochemistry, molecular work, and digital pathology (all aspects of a research-based anatomic pathology laboratory including formalin fixation and paraffin embedding, automated and manual immunohistochemistry, tissue microarray design and construction, and automated whole slide scanning for digital pathology applications, including advanced image analysis capabilities). Biorepository division includes tissue and biospecimen procurement (a workflow that complements clinical patient care, the consent procedures which include statement of basic, translational and clinical research and PDX studies for potential therapies), detailed sample annotation (pre-analytic variables such as cold post-surgery time, frozen section evaluation, specimen tracking, and a quality management program); and well-controlled biospecimens and procedures (ensuring that clinically meaningful and reproducible data emerge from investigation). The clinical trials unit (CTU) provides service of institution, regional and national network and prepares trial cases of fast turnaround time and high quality trial materials and patients’ satisfaction. In conjunction with the Cancer Center’s Clinical Trials Office, the clinical trials unit participates in both industry based clinical trials and investigator initiated clinical trials. 

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The Center for Advanced Microscopy (CAM) at Northwestern offers state-of-the art instrumentation and services for the study of biological processes at the whole animal, tissue, cellular and subcellular levels. The facility's basic services include electron microscopy, super resolution microscopy (SIM & STORM), fluorescent laser scanning and spinning disk microscopy, fluorescent lifetime imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy microscopy, automated high throughput tissue cytometry, laser capture microdissection, mutliphoton imaging, and whole animal bioluminescent and fluorescent imaging. Additionally we provide microinjection equipment, chambers for stable live cell observation, and anesthesia equipment. CAM staff members provide training on numerous different instrument platforms, consultation on experiment design, as well as digital image processing and image analysis. We are a reference site for several companies including TissueGnostics and ISS (developer of the ISS ALBA). CAM is one of three Nikon Imaging Centers in the US, allowing us access and excellent support from Nikon to develop innovative solutions for the cutting edge imaging needs of users. This relationship has allowed our users to push super-resolution technologies to permit multi-color, 3D and live-cell applications. Additionally, we have been working together with Nikon to add confocal laser scanning to a low magnification upright dissection microscope, which is particularly useful to researchers interested in visualizing thick samples (such as epidermal raft cultures) at increased cellular resolution. We are also currently expanding our full service electron microscopy offerings. Recently, we obtained a Leica Freeze Substitution Unit for TEM sample preparation allowing for improved sample quality and streamlined work-flow.

Please feel free to contact us with questions.

For the Research Newsletter featuring CAM, please click here.

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CAMI staff

The Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging (CAMI) provides access to imaging modalities ranging from the nanometer scale to whole animal imaging. These include MRI, nuclear imaging (PET, SPECT, and CT), in vivo bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging, animal housing and prep spaces, and tissue culture.  Image analysis services are available, as are software packages (JIM, Amira, Matlab) and a workstation for users to perform their own data analysis.  Imaging services can be provided for investigators' own animal models, or animal models can be supplied by the Developmental Therapeutics Core.

CAMI also houses a 2 photon confocal microscope operated by QBIC and atomic force microscopes operated by NIFTI.

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Analytical BioNanoTechnology Equipment Core (ANTEC) houses research equipment for the evaluation of materials and biological preparations in the bionanotechnology laboratory.  The core primarily serves Northwestern University researchers, and is open for visiting scientists and local industry researchers.

Some of the ANTEC equipment is unique to Chicago campus, including: Zetasizer Nano ZSP for zeta potential measurements, molecular weight determination, and advanced characterization of proteins, polymers, and other macromolecules; a state-of-the-art Cytation3 Automated Imager and Multimodal Plate Reader for fluorescence, luminescence, absorption assays and automatic cell imaging; two FreeZone 6 lyophilizers for freeze drying of biological and synthetic materials, a SpectraMax M5 Microplate Reader, a real-time CFX-Connect PCR detection system, a Kodak gel imaging system, an Azure300 Chemiluminescence Imager and a refrigerated centrifuge.  NanoSight NS300 with a fluorescence detection capability for nanoparticle characterization, will be located in the J-Wing of Evanston Tech building.

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SPID was created to drive interdisciplinary research bridging the gap between hard nanostructures, soft materials, biological sciences, quantitative mechanical and electrical analysis and nanopatterning. SPID provides a wide range of imaging instrumentation and support facilities for atomic to molecular imaging. It supports a broad range of nanoscale science and technology characterization needs at nanoscale by providing state-of-the-art resources coupled with expert staff. Research at SPID encompasses physical and chemical sciences, engineering and life sciences, and has a strong inter-disciplinary emphasis. Every week, several new users coming from NU campuses, academia, industry, and government laboratories learn to use tools available in the center to carry out their research projects.

The primary focus of SPID is to provide both quantitative and qualitative scanning probe microscopy and biomaterials nanopatterning based highly advanced instrumentations to enable materials, nanopatterning and biomedical research by a diverse group of scientists, industries and clinicians representing numerous disciplines. SPID works in partnership with several industrial partners and specifically Bruker Metrology Surface Division to develop advanced instrumentation for quantitative analysis. SPID serves as a hub for numerous global partnerships both in terms of facility development and research.

For more information about this facility, click HERE

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The Materials Characterization and Imaging Facility (MatCI, formerly OMM ) offers a broad range of characterization and sample preparation equipment for use by internal as well as external users to Northwestern University.  Characterization techniques include optical microscopy, thermal imaging, thermal analysis (DSC, TGA), hardness testing (Vicker’s, Knoop, Rockwell), electronic characterization (Hall Effect, Impedance Spectroscopy, Kelvin Probe, Charge Transport) and rheological characterization.  Sample and surface preparation capabilities include mounting (castable mounts, hot pressure mounting, vacuum impregnation), cutting, sectioning and wafer dicing, polishing/grinding, electropolishing, ion beam milling and cross-sectional polishing.  Tube and box furnaces are available with temperature range up to 1700C for thermal processing.

 For more information about this facility, click here.

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