The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Light Microscopy

Light Microscopy Facility

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Please see the core facilities overview page for up to date status information.

 

Located on the 5th floor in the Life Science Laboratories the Light Microscopy Facility provides powerful resources for imaging model organisms, tissue, cells, biomaterials, and artificial structures and houses state-of-the-art equipment including almost every light microscopy imaging modality presently available. Cell culture facilities are also available nearby as well as other routine items necessary for biological imaging and material imaging. This facility has been designated a Nikon Centers of Excellence, thus providing a unique opportunity for training, demonstration, instrument development, and research.

The Light Microscopy Facility accepts samples and will perform requested analysis for both on-campus users as well as off-campus academic and industrial partners. We excel in the use of telemicroscopy through the use of remote imaging sessions, remote control of all instruments, and remote data analysis sessions available to all users. Further, we provide training to all users that plan to conduct experimentation. Following an initial consultation in which experimental requirements, expected outcomes, and careful scrunity of feasibility, training and/or access is arranged through the Director.

Industry Sponsorship
The benefits of working with Nikon as an industry collaborator are that users of the UMass Light Microscopy Facility receive both formal and informal training from Nikon engineers, frequent on-site technical support, access to new hardware and software technology, and assistance with cutting-edge experimental set ups. It is a very fruitful partnership.

  • LCMD: Nikon TiE with Arcturus Laser Capture Micro-Dissection

    This microscope is really a cellular robot. You can find cells or regions using brightfield or fluorescence that you are interested on tissue slices and draw a line around them, cut them out, move them to a cap and then process the cap for downstream experiments (sequencing, proteomics, etc.).

    • Objectives: 4x, 10x, 40x
    • Colors: Blue, Green, Red, Far-Red
    • Lasers: UV (cut), IR (remove)
    • Detectors: Color camera
    • Telemicroscopy enabled? No

     

  • Keyence BZ-X800

    This microscope is simple to use. Intuitive interface, fully motorized.  Great microscope fo infrequent users or novices or when you just need some basic data on a few samples.

     

    • Objectives: 4x, 10x, 20x
    • Colors: Blue, Green, Red, Far-Red,  
    • Excitation: 405, 488, 561, 640nm
    • Detector: Color camera
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • CrestV2 with 2xTIRF: Nikon Ti2 with spinning disk confocal and 2 camera TIRF system

    This microscope is great for live cells as it is a low-light technique. With six laser lines we can easily image dynamic movements in live cells, stimulating/bleaching in real time.  Two camera TIRF system allows simultaneous 2 color imaging.

    • Objectives: 20x, 100x
    • Colors: Blue, Cyan(Crest), Green, Yellow(Crest), Red, Far-Red Lasers: 405, 445, 488, 514. 561, 640nm
    • Detector: sCMOS (x3)
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • HCA: Nikon TiE with High Content software and robotic hardware

    This microscope is truly amazing for its ability to collect and automatically analyze data from live or fixed samples. The intuitive and adaptive software can be programed to count cells, monitor growth, take high-resolution pictures when a certain feature is found, scan slides, scan multi-well plates, etc. A robot can even load your multi-well plates. It has two imaging paths; wide-field and spinning disk. When it is done, you can have the microscope send you a text message that contains any key variables that you need to know right away.

    • Objectives: 4x, 10x, 20x, 40x, 60x
    • Colors: Blue, Cyan, Green, Yellow, Red, Far-Red,  
    • LEDs: 405, 445, 488, 514, 561, 640nm
    • Detector: sCMOS camera
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • A1SP-FLIM: Nikon TiE with A1 Spectral Detector Confocal and FLIM/FCS Module

    This microscope is great for fixed samples and is especially useful when experimenters may have overlapping emissions from fluorophores or autofluorescence or want to investigate FLIM or FCS measurements.  Researchers can perform exquisite measurements of materials as well as live cells.

    • Objectives: 10x, 20x, 40x, 60x, 100x
    • Colors: Blue, Green, Red, Far-Red,  
    • Lasers: 405(both), 445(FLIM), 488(both), 561(both), 640nm(A1) Detector: GaAsP PMTs and hybrid TCSPC detectors (2) Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • A1R-TIRF: Nikon TiE with A1 Resonant Scanning Confocal and TIRF Module

    This microscope is highly versatile and can be used for live or fixed samples. The resonant scanner allows for very fast acquisitions and the GaAsP detectors are extremely sensitive. This microscope has 6 lasers and the full gamut of objectives and software modules which can also be used in TIRF mode.

    • Objectives: 10x, 20x, 40x, 60x, 100x
    • Colors: Blue, Cyan, Green, Yellow, Red, Far-Red,  
    • Lasers: 405, 445, 488, 514, 561, 640nm
    • Detector: sCMOS camera and GaAsP PMTs
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • Ephys: Nikon TiE with patch clamp electrophysiology rig including Axopatch 200B and micromanipulators

    This microscope is can record minuscule currents and voltages in cells and devices using patch clamp circutry.

    • Objectives: 10x, 20x,  
    • Colors: NA
    • Lasers: NA
    • Detector: Axopatch 200B
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  No

     

  • A1RMP: Nikon FN1 with A1 Resonant Scanning Multi-Photon Confoca

    This microscope is an upright, manual microscope that is suited for in vivo, intravital imaging as well as imaging in and through thick tissues and samples. It uses a tunable infrared pulsed laser to excite fluorophores at the focal volume and features a resonance scanner that can image very quickly along with a fast moving piezo nosepiece. We also have visible lasers for standard upright confocal microscopy.

    • Objectives: 10x, 20x, 25x. 40x
    • Colors: Blue, Green, Red, Far-Red(using visible lines)
    • Lasers: 405, 488, 561, 640, and 760-1040nm pulsed laser
    • Detector: IR CCD and GaAsP PMTs NDD and descanned
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • N-STORM: Nikon TiE with N-STORM/TIRF

    This microscope makes doing 3D STORM imaging straightforward. This includes a cylindrical lens to provide z-information on your molecules of interest. This also has the option to change not only the TIRF angle with the click of a button, but also the direction of the laser entering the back aperture of the objective. 

    • Objectives: 20x, 60x. 100x
    • Colors: Blue, Green, Red, Far-Red
    • Lasers: 405, 488, 561, 640nm
    • Detector: sCMOS camera
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • A1R-SIMe: Nikon TiE with A1 Resonant Scanning Confocal and N-SIM Structured Illumination Super-Resolution

    This microscope is very versatile and can be used for live or fixed samples. The resonant scanner allows for very fast acquisitions and the GaAsP detectors are extremely sensitive. The SIM side of the microscope is extremely easy to use with no special sample preparation required for super-resolution imaging.

    • Objectives: 10x, 20x, 40x, 60x, 100x
    • Colors: Blue(A1R), Cyan(A1R), Green, Yellow (A1R), Red, Far-Red,  Lasers: 405, 445, 488, 514, 561, 640nm
    • Detector: sCMOS and GaAsP PMTs
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • Spinning disk (SD): Nikon TiE with Yokogawa Spinning Disk Confocal and FRAP/PA unit for perturbations

    This microscope is great for live cells as it is a low-light technique. With four laser lines and an additional mini-scanner for PA/FRAP/etc., we can easily image dynamic movements in live cells, stimulating/bleaching in real time.

    • Objectives: 20x, 40x water immersion, 40x oil immersion, 60x, 100x Colors: Blue, Green, Red, Far-Red, [Near Infra-Red]
    • Lasers: 405, 488, 561, 640nm
    • Detector: EMCCD (Princeton Instruments)
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  Yes

     

  • SMZ-18: Nikon stereoscope

    This microscope is great for large samples such as plants, insects, and other macro-scaled items.

    • Objectives: 0.5x and 1.6x
    • Colors: Green, Red
    • Excitation: 488, 561nm
    • Detector: color CCD
    • Telemicroscopy enabled?  No

Additional Resources

Analysis Workstations

  • 4 PC workstations (WS0-3) with NIS-Elements and other analysis/computational software available

Incubators

  Internal
(per hour)
External Non-profit
(per hour)
External Industry
(per hour)
Nikon A1R-TIRF $20 $26 $35
Nikon A1R-SIMe $20 $26 $35
Nikon A1SP-FLIM $22 $29 $38
Nikon SD (X1) $20 $26 $35
Nikon Crest V2 TIRF $20 $26 $35
Nikon STORM $30 $40 $52
Laser Cap $22 $29 $38
Nikon Ephys Rig $12 $16 $21
Nikon Multiphoton $30 $40 $52
Nikon High Content $22 $29 $38
Keyence BZX800 $10 $13 $17
       
Basic Training $75 $104 $130
Dedicated Imaging $125 $165 $216
   
Rates are subject to change, contact facility to verify current fees.  


FY21 Specialized Service Center Approved Fees

Services

Training for new users consists of:

  • lab safety training,
  • operation of the instrument and associated software,
  • use of data analysis software,
  • exporting or presenting data,
  • clean up and shutdown of the instrumentation.

Once the training is complete, researchers may schedule their experiments through the director of Light Microscopy (James Chambers) or online through FOM (Facilities Online Manager) at fom.umass.edu/fom

Training generally consists of 2-4 hours per new user and depends on the user's previous microscopy experience.  All are welcome, even if you have never used a microscope!

Training #1 can be accomplished with 1-4 people and consists of a demonstration of the microscope hardware and software, discussions of light paths, digital image acquisition, saturation, and features of the microscope.

Training #2 is one-on-one and usually is a brief refresher of training #1 followed by the new user on the microscope acquiring images of a facility-provided sample.  Advanced users can bring their own samples.

Training #3+ is one-on-one and is the time for the user to use the microscope for their samples.  The Trainer will be there to make suggestions/corrections and to be sure the Trainee is going to be able to acquire the data that she/he needs for the project.

Because most of our imaging microscopes run the same software, NIS-Elements, the training for one microscope is transferable to all of the other microscopes.

Advanced Training

The Light Microscope Facility offers free advanced training sessions.  Be sure to be on the Facility Online Manager list to be alerted to these free offering as well as free “pilot data days.”

User Agreement

  1. When you have questions about anything, ask the director James Chambers.
  2. Treat all equipment with respect.
  3. Do not rush when using the equipment as this leads to breakage/damage that you and your PI will be responsible for replacing.
  4. Use your allotted time and finish on time when someone is on after you.
  5. If you know you will not use your reservation, cancel it ASAP.
  6. Acknowledge use of UMass IALS LMF in all publications. Please use some variant of: “The microscopy data was gathered in the Light Microscopy Facility and Nikon Center of Excellence at the Institute for Applied Life Sciences, UMass Amherst with support from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.”
  7. Adhere to the EH&S-approved live cell standard operating procedure when using live samples.
  8. No liquids on the microscope air table.
  9. You are responsible for your data – this means that you should arrange for moving it and backing it up. We will do our best to back it up and preserve it, but it is ultimately the user’s responsibility.