Equipment Type Fees (as of July 1, 2018)
Laser scanning confocals
(510 SP5 SP8 780s 710 880)
$30 per hour
$30 per hour
Spinning disk confocal $20 per hour
2-Photon $45.50 per hour
STED - super-resolution $35 per hour
Fluorescence microscopes $15 per hour
Live cell stations, VivaView
and DeltaVision
$17 per hour for first 3 hours, then $3 per hour
TIRF system $18.70 per hour
Lumar Stereoscope $7.20 per hour
Laser capture microdissection $27 per hour
Extended technical assistance $55 per hour
Workstations Free
Training $60 
Bulk discount 70% discount for charges over $600 per month per PI (ie the PI pays the first $600 plus 30% of charges beyond that).


PLEASE NOTE: The hourly usage rates will be going up a small amount for all microscopes as of July 1, 2018 and the monthly amount to reach bulk discount will increase. (This is required due to typical annual inflation and increases in operating costs. Thank you.)

  • The charges apply for only the time you use on the system - ie from the beginning of your reservation until you press the stop button in the CoreResearch system - but please try and not book excessive time (but we understand that nobody knows exactly how long the imaging is going to take).
  • It is important to cancel your reservation if you don't need the time - we don't want time wasted on the busy, expensive machines and somebody might leave the system on for you. If you don't use your reservation, the charge is made for the entire booking as no modification to the actual used time is made.
  • These fees apply however you use the system (ie if you have booked the system you pay the fee for your use even if you are just moving data, checking your cells etc).

Funding and Value to the Research Community

The LMCF recovers some of the direct operation costs through user fees. Our fees for using the microscopes are heavily subsidized by generous funding support from the Office of the Provost, the Duke School of Medicine, the Duke Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the North Carolina Biotechnology. We hope you find the fees for using the microscopes reasonable considering what microscopy offers and the substantial cost in acquiring and running microscopy hardware. Please bear in mind:

  • For a few dollars you can use instrumentation that costs several hundred thousand dollars
  • Most of the costs of the microscope are paid for by core funding, users actually pay for less than 50% of the real cost of running the microscopes and none of the cost of acquiring them
  • For the price of buying your own confocal you could use the LMCF microscopes for 40 hours per month for more than 50 years, plus you don't have to do maintenance and repairs.

Funding Acknowledgement

NIH Shared instrumentation grant 1S10RR027528-01 funded the DeltaVision, NIH shared instrumentation grant 1S10RR027867-01 funded the intravital confocal/multiphoton systems, NIH shared instrumentation grant 1S10-OD020010-01A1 funded the Lightsheet, IDG #2011-IDG-1002 from NCBC funded the Olympus VivaView.