News and events . . .

Some parting words from Sam Johnson

After many wonderful years at LMCF I have decided to move on from Duke. A search for a new director for LMCF is underway but not yet complete. In the interim Gao and Ben will be running LMCF. Please be aware they are a person down so will be very busy.

I hope the new things on the way will be useful for you (details below). Sorry I won't be around to help with them but I feel happy to leave with the facility well stocked with machines for all. I hope you are able to contribute to the decisions of the exact options for some of the capabilities.

Many thanks to everybody I have interacted with over the years, it has been an amazing and rewarding experience to have been involved with such diverse and great science in an ideal environment.



Lightsheet, Zeiss 880 AiryScan confocal and upgrades for LMCF

The following are on order and will be installed in LMCF in coming weeks . . .

Lightsheet - Thanks to the NIH for funding our Shared Instrumentation Grant, we will be able to add a Zeiss Lightsheet Z1 system for imaging live and optically cleared samples. This will go in our Nanaline Duke site.

Zeiss 880 AiryScan - Our oldest confocal (510upright in FFSC) will be traded-in for a new Zeiss 880 unit with AiryScan (1.4x resolution gain at very high signal-to-noise-ratios) and FCS/FCCS. (We will keep the 510 inverted running for at least a year but it is soon to become unsupported by Zeiss). The new 880 will be in FFSC.

AiryScan upgrade module will also be added as an upgrade to the 780 Inverted.

High-throughput capabilities upgrade - Zen software will be added to the live cell station to give extra capabilities for acquiring data from multiwell plates to complement the tiling capabilities of the axio imager. MetaMorph will still be available for livecell imaging.

Motorized stage for the 780 upright- Giving tiling etc capability and increasing the general usability of the system while still allowing the intravital imaging for which the system was optimized.

Incubator upgrade for the spinning disk. This will improve the temperature stability of the system.

New computer and Zen software for the Lumar stereoscope - this will replace AxioVision and the improved speed of a new Windows7 computer should help the speed and usability of the system.


Super-resolution and live-cell confocal needs

We are also fortunate to have funding to acquire super resolution capabilities and an additional spinning disk (or similar) as best fits the needs of our users. We will be testing some systems in the future to decide on our best options. Please let Sam know if you would be interested in participating in the trials and testing or have general input to provide. We will also advertise events here on the LMCF website as things are arranged. . .

Super-resolution - SIM and PALM/STORM. We have funding for a purchase and will demo instruments to determine what is the most useful system.

Additional spinning disk or other live cell confocal. Options are a near duplicate of our existing spinning disk, a slightly different form offering better performance at lower magnifications, or another form of optical sectioning for live samples.


Nanaline Duke workstation upgraded

The image analysis workstation in Nan Duke with Imaris, Volocity, MetaMorph, Zen offline and FIJI has been upgraded to better cope with large data sets. The new system has faster processors, 128 GB RAM and 10 TB of HDD in a RAID array.

Axio imager upgraded

The axio imager has been substantially upgraded with new hardware giving new and improved capabilities. A motorized stage has been added allowing image stitching/tiling for fluorescent and brightfield samples. Both cameras have been replaced and now offer larger fields of view and improved color white-balance. Several optics have been upgraded and the system is more motorized allowing 3D imaging and a more convenient multichannel work flow. The system is controlled by Zen software from Zeiss. An apotome provides a means of improved contrast and sharpness - an alternative to confocal for some tissue imaging.

New booking system

Over the coming months we are transitioning our booking/billing system to a new one provided by the institution. The new system will eventually be used by most cores across Duke University and Medical School. There is some setup required by your PI or grant manager to be able to use the new system.

Frontiers in Light Microscopy Conference at NCI November 17, 2015

A one-day conference is being held on November 17 2015 at the NIH in Bethesda with sections Tissue Imaging, Probes, and Super-Resolution. More details on the flyer.

Testing of potential upgrades

We are considering if it would be helpful to upgrade our Axio Imager scope to add some new features and replace a few aging components . . . 
  • Motorized stage for tilling/stitching for fluorescence and histology samples (so you don't have to use the laser capture or live cell scopes)
  • More motorization and improved software for multi-colour overlays etc
  • LED illumination to replace the arc lamp 
  • Integrated motorization for z-stacks
  • New cameras

We will have a few representatives demo microscope in the next few weeks.  If you are interested in trying a couple of samples on it we would value your input to see if you think these changes are worthwhile.  Please email Sam with any input or to arrange an hour or two on the system to try . . .

FFSC workstation upgraded

The image analysis workstation in FFSC with Imaris, MetaMorph and FIJI has been upgraded to better cope with large data sets. The new system has faster processors, 128 GB RAM and 10 TB of HDD in a RAID array.

Zeiss LSM 880 with AiryScan talk and demo

Duke is hosting a Zeiss roadshow, highlighting their new advanced confocal microscope: the Zeiss LSM 880 with AiryScan.  LSM 880 exceeds the successes of the former systems by being faster, more sensitive and capable of effortless super-resolution.

When paired with the unique, ultra-sensitive, detector AiryScan, a 1.7x resolution increase in X, Y and Z can be achieved without the need of complicated post-processing algorithms, special or bright dyes. Even very low expression levels of fluorescent proteins can now be detected and observed with a resolution down to 140 nm lateral and 350 nm axial.

The new AiryScan detector is also ideal for very weak sample features, or challenging samples that bleach rapidly. Multi-color super-resolution imaging in 4D with any fluorescent label and standard confocal preparation has never been easier.

An introductory talk will be held on Monday February 23 at 3:30PM in the French Family Science Center, Lecture Room 2231.

A system will be available for demonstrations and testing with your samples from February 24th until March. 5th in Biological Sciences Room 209). Please contact Kate Schallhorn to set a specific demo time for your samples or with any other questions.

Zeiss flyer with more information

Newly available SP5 upright in LMCF

An upright SP5 confocal in Nanaline Duke has been incorporated into LMCF and is now available to all.

Imaris upgrades

LMCF now has two essentially identical copies of the Imaris visualization and analysis software. Both the FFSC 64bit and Nanaline Duke workstations have the tracking, filament tracer and XT modules and also the new Vantage module. We hope having two options should make it easier to find time to access the systems for your analysis. We continue to have no limits on the time you can book the workstation but please try and make your bookings as accurate as possible and amend if you finish early.

XP replacements

Windows XP is ending support in 2014. We are replacing the computers on several systems in the coming weeks to move as many systems from XP to Windows7 (and upgrading the hardware at the same time). New computers on the LSRC 64bit workstation and the Axio Observer are installed. If you left files on a computer that is replaced (ideally you don't store things uniquely on the LMCF systems) let us know asap as we will keep each old computer for a few weeks. Some systems will remain on XP as essentially only the vendors are able to provide new systems and these are expensive.

Andor W1 spinning disk demo

October 29-31 2013 Andor showed the W1 spinning disk.

SPIM/Light Sheet and super-resolution systems at Duke

We have the opportunity to test systems offering new ways of imaging. In May Zeiss will bring a light sheet system to campus. Over the summer we will have two different 3D super-resolution systems to try with your samples.

A Leica SP8 confocal is now available in LMCF

An upright Leica SP8 confocal is now available in 337 Nan Duke. It features sensitive hybrid detectors, a resonant scanner and several other features and capabilities. .

A second Zeiss 780 now available in LMCF

An inverted Zeiss 780 confocal is now available to users as part of LMCF. The system was purchased by Vann Bennett who has generously shared the system through LMCF.

ScaleView capability added to MultiPhoton

The Olympus multiphoton has been upgraded with a motorized stage and stitching software and an objective lens optimized for imaging samples optically cleared with the ScaleView reagent offering imaging to a depth of 8 mm. Have a look at what can be achieved with this technique and system here.

What you can do in LMCF

Download this poster to see an overview of the capabilities and equipment available in LMCF.



Past events are listed here