Microscopy and Imaging   

Microscopy and Imaging

Program Overview

The CDI Microscopy & Imaging core provides access to a wide array of state-of-the-art instrumentation for light, confocal and super resolution microscopy and other image analysis platforms. Imaging modalities supported range from conventional brightfield, to wide-field fluorescence, confocal and high content imaging. The Microscopy and Imaging Shared Resource (MISR) supports the imaging of fixed samples and live cell and tissue preparations, with automated image acquisition over long time courses in various culture ware, on systems equipped with environmental chambers.

Microscopy and Imaging Core’s Mission

The MISR staff provide advice on the optimal imaging approaches to achieving the desired research outcomes, assistance with experimental design, initial training and ongoing supervision with the equipment as needed, and help with image analysis and data interpretation.

The MISR at CDI is also part of the National Cancer Institute-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and additional microscopy and imaging resources are available and can be accessed here.

Instruments and key features

MISR Instruments and Key Features

ONI Nanoimager S super resolution microscope. The Nanoimager is a desktop super resolution microscope that offers various modes of operation including dSTORM (20 nm resolution), PALM, smFRET and supports illumination modes from epifluorescence to TIRF, and can image fixed samples stained with immunofluorescence protocols or during live-cell imaging. The unit has temperature control up to 42°C and is microfluidics ready. The ONI Nanoimager can track single molecules and vesicles in both bacterial and eukaryotic cells.

Leica Stellaris 5 confocal microscope. Digital LightSheet 5 color confocal imaging with incubation chamber to control temperature, humidity and CO2. Location: 5325.

Nikon Ti2 with Hamamatsu Digital CameraNikon Ti2 A1R LSM Confocal Microscope (NJ):
The Nikon Ti2 microscope equipped with an A1R LSM confocal unit and a Tokai Hit incubation chamber is ideal for imaging both fixed and live cell samples. The instrument has laser lines for DAPI, FITC, TRITC, Alexa-647 (405, 445, 488, 514, 561, 640nm) and a range of objectives (4x, 10x/0.45 A, 20x/0.75 A, 40x/0.95 A, 40x/1.3 O, 60x/1.4 O).

Nikon C2 confocal microscope. The Nikon C2’s high-speed galvano scanners operate at rates of up to 100 fps. The system also provides simultaneous acquisition of three fluorescent channels plus DIC in a single scan.

Nikon Ti2 widefield Epi-Fluorescence microscope (NJ):
The Nikon Ti2 epi-fluorescent microscope is equipped with a range of objectives (4x, 10x, 20x, 40x, 60x O, 100x O), and filters for DAPI, FITC, TRITC, Cy5, CFP, YFP, mCherry, and a Tokai Hit incubation chamber. The system is ideal for brightfield and widefield fluorescent imaging of fixed and live-cell specimens with images captured with a Hamamatsu camera.

Nikon Ti2R with DS-Qi2 CameraNikon Ti2R with DS-Qi2 color camera (NJ):
The Nikon Ti2R epi-fluorescent platform is equipped with a range of objectives (4x, 10x, 20X, 40x, 100x O), and filters for DAPI, FITC, TRITC, and Cy5. The color Ds-Qi2 camera makes this platform ideal for brightfield and fluorescent imaging of a range of samples.

Image Analysis Workstations
Nikon C2A stand-alone image-processing workstation is available. The workstation is equipped with NIS-Elements and Flowjo.

Other imaging instrumentation available

Leica Laser Capture Dissection (LMD6 _ LMD7)Leica laser-capture microdissection microscope (LMD6 and 7 models). See Mass Spectrometry Core for details and access.

Typhoon multimode imager (Amersham/GE Healthcare): a “four-instruments-in-one” imager that can image gels, membranes, multi-well plates, dishes, and tissue sections, and offers precise quantitation of fluorescent, color-stained, and radiolabeled biomolecules like proteins and nucleic acids. Access is available via Idea Elan Infinity scheduling. Location: Lab C424.

Nexcelom Celigo high content imaging cytometer (Perlin Laboratory). The Nexcelom Celigo is a plate-based benchtop brightfield and fluorescent imaging system designed for whole-well live-cell analysis and cell sample characterization. Celigo images and analyzes cells in various types of vessels including 6 – 1536 well plates, T25, T75 flasks, 10 cm dishes, and glass slides without disturbing their natural state. Location: Lab B514

Agilent Cytation C10. The Cytation C10 confocal imaging reader combines automated confocal and widefield microscopy with conventional multimode microplate reading. Cytation C10 support multiple plate sizes and has temperature control.Location: Lab C424.

Perkin Elmer IVIS In Vivo Multispectral (MS) Lumina X5 imager with x-ray, bioluminescence, fluorescence, and radioisotopic imaging capabilities.

VisualSonics VEVO 3100 Small Animal Ultrasound Imaging System

PIXImus small animal Densitometer. Measure Bone densitometry and body composition measurement using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). See Animal Facility Core for details and access.

Leica Stellaris 8 confocal microscope for intravital imaging

CDI is part of the National Cancer Institute-designated Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, and additional microscopy and imaging resources are available and can be accessed here.

Fees and Scheduling

Investigators, once they have completed the mandatory initial training for a given instrument, are then free to book time on the instrument through the Idea Elan portal.

Instrument/Service/Supplies Rate
All Confocal Microscopes $20/hour
Nikon Ti2 w/Hamatsu Digital Camera
Epi-Fluorescence Microscopy
ONI Nanoimager Super Resolution Microscope $20/hour
Image Processing and Analysis
HP Desktop w/NIS-Advanced Research
Time-lapse imaging >12H Please inquire the core facility


Users are billed for the time that they actually spend using the instruments. Training and extended assistance is also billed on an hourly basis. Please contact Wenshan for current fees.

Other Shared Resources

Core facilities include high-end imaging, mass spectrometry, gene editing, cell sorting, flow cytometry, tissue banks and biocontainment. A high-tech auditorium, Board Room and video conferencing center serve as venues for both internal and external speakers to present their research to CDI scientists, professors and medical students. An additional ~60,000 GSF of lab space is available for expansion of the research enterprise.

Key Staff/Faculty

WenShan Tsao, MS
Manager, Microscopy and Imaging Core
Ms. Tsao manages day-to-day operations of the MISR at the Nutley, NJ campus. Wen-shan received her graduate training in Biotechnology from the National Dong Hwa University and has considerable experience with various aspects of microscopy. Wenshan is available for instrument training, experimental consultation and troubleshooting with the instruments located in A424. Contact Ms. Tsao with questions about access to the instruments at CDI

Steven Park, BS
Director, Microscopy and Imaging Core
Co-Director, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center Microscopy and Imaging Shared Resources
Mr. Park oversees the NJ MISR operations and assists labs with MISR instrument selection and set up for their research needs. He has over 23 years of experience in developing novel fluorescent probes across multiple imaging platforms including, microscopy, next-generation nucleic acid PCR- and RNA-based for rapid identification of viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens, and associated drug resistance. He has also developed and managed core facilities and research support programs for over 20 years and listed as an inventor in 4 patents: CDI Enhanced COVID-19 Test US20210277488A1, Assays for fungal infection US20200149119A1, Assays for resistance to echinocandin-class drugs US10934577B2, Detecting triazole resistance in aspergillus WO2008137715A1. He has authored 79 publications (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/10O6kSLpadBkw/bibliography/public/)

Key publications include:

  1. Mitchell MI, Ben-Dov IZ, Liu C, Ye K, Chow K, Kramer Y, Gangadharan A, Park S, Fitzgerald S, Ramnauth A, Perlin DS, Donato M, Bhoy E, Manouchehri Doulabi E, Poulos M, Kamali-Moghaddam M, Loudig O. Extracellular Vesicle Capture by AnTibody of CHoice and Enzymatic Release (EV-CATCHER): A customizable purification assay designed for small-RNA biomarker identification and evaluation of circulating small-EVs. J Extracell Vesicles. 2021 Jun;10(8):e12110. doi: 10.1002/jev2.12110. Epub 2021 Jun 3. PMID: 34122779; PMCID: PMC8173589.
  2. Zhao Y, Cunningham MH, Mediavilla JR, Park S, Fitzgerald S, Ahn HS, Li X, Zhan C, Hong T, Munk G, Chow KF, Perlin DS. Diagnosis, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of COVID-19 patients from a large healthcare system in northern New Jersey. Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 23;11(1):4389. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83959-7. PMID: 33623090; PMCID: PMC7902820.
  3. Lee MH, Wiedman G, Park S, Mustaev A, Zhao Y, Perlin DS. A novel, tomographic imaging probe for rapid diagnosis of fungal keratitis. Med Mycol. 2018 Oct 1;56(7):796-802. doi: 10.1093/mmy/myx125. PMID: 29228372; PMCID: PMC6186012.
  4. Monteiro AA, Pires RN, Baethgen LF, Carneiro LC, Tavares RG, Caierão J, Park S, Perlin DS, Rodrigues Filho EM, Pasqualotto AC. Discrepancies among three laboratory methods for Clostridium difficile detection and a proposal for their optimal use. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2014 Jan;350(2):133-7. doi: 10.1111/1574-6968.12330. Epub 2013 Dec 11. PMID: 24236508.
  5. Pratt A, Garcia-Effron G, Zhao Y, Park S, Mustaev A, Pillai S, Perlin DS. Evaluation of fungal-specific fluorescent labeled echinocandin probes as diagnostic adjuncts. Med Mycol. 2013 Jan;51(1):103-7. doi: 10.3109/13693786.2012.685767. Epub 2012 May 15. PMID: 22587729.
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