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Wilmer Imaging and Microscopy Core Facility Overview

Facility Description and Services

The Microscopy and Imaging Core Facility (MICF) is located on the mezzanine and third floor of the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Building at the Wilmer Institute and comprises 1,500 square feet of laboratory space.  The facility provides state of the art light and electron microscopic instruments and consultation to researchers at the Wilmer Eye Institute. The MICF staff members are committed to provide equipment support and consultation for experimental designs involved in cell imaging, instrument selection, instrument training, sample preparation, and image analysis to its users.
View available equipment.

Applying for Use

Labs wishing to use the MICF must first complete an application for use that will be reviewed by the MICF Committee.  The Committee will then determine if the applicant and project will be approved for independent use of the requested instrument after training or if user assisted fee for service with our microscopy specialist is appropriate.
View user fees.

Equipment Reservations

Each first-time user will receive a personal reservation calendar logon and password. Access to specific equipment calendars will be granted only after training by authorized staff is completed.
Access the reservation calendar.

Facility Access

The MICF is accessible via a keycard system to approved users who have been trained to work independently. Your badge number and name will be submitted for coding by the Facility Administrator once you have completed orientation/training. Authorized users may bring associates from the same lab for observation of microscopy experiments. Any other activities, such as instrument demonstration, teaching, and facility tours, must be pre-authorized with the Facility Administrator, and the instrument(s) involved in such activities should be reserved for these purposes.

Facility Regulations

Many groups heavily use and rely upon some of the microscopy equipment in the facility for their research. It is crucial that every user follows the Facility User Guide and the regulations below to guarantee the smooth function of the facility.

  • If researchers need to use any equipment in the facility or require help from the facility staff members, please kindly plan ahead. We try our best to answer technical questions on the spot, but users will get our undivided attention if an appointment is made in advance, especially questions regarding experimental designs, potential collaboration, and multiphoton imaging.
  • Any instrument malfunction or problem should be reported immediately to either Mary Ellen Pease or Rhonda Grebe, preferably in person or by text or email if after hours. Users should not try to fix any instrument problems by themselves. When possible, please take a picture with your cell phone and email any error messages, or unusual image scans. This helps us better diagnose the problem when it is intermittent.
  • Failure to cancel sessions with sufficient notice may result in the institution of a penalty fee. Please help us avoid this by finding a substitute user to take the reserved time, such as a lab mate or the person signed up ahead of or behind you. If none of those persons are not interested, email the relevant instrument group (TEM or confocal) to offer up the time. Remember to delete your calcium reservation first, THEN email the group to announce that the time is now open.
  • The downloading of ANY programs onto the PC platforms is expressly forbidden. Network access is not provided for the confocal and TEM; MS Office is not installed on any of these PCs by design.


Training for the independent use of instruments is available by appointment only and depends upon instrument availability.

Data backup

Each user is responsible for saving their data to a USB type portable media for transfer to their own workstation. This includes the Zeiss LSM 510 Meta confocal, the Zeiss LSM 710 and Hitachi H7600 TEM. The MICF staff will not be responsible for checking image archives prior to periodic purges of data hard drives. The LSM 510, LSM 710 and the H7600 TEM are not networked to protect them from viruses, spyware, and misuse.

Additional Resources

Miscellaneous links for dyes email user groups
Links to other core facility websites