Research Announcements

Zeiss LSM 800 with Airyscan now available at the UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility

The UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility (UAMCF) is delighted to announce that our new Zeiss LSM 800 with Airyscan is now fully operational and open for use. The Airyscan replaces our older LSM 510, which could no longer be supported by service contracts, and joins our Zeiss LSM 710 and the new Structured Illumination (SIM)/PALM/STORM super-resolution microscope. According to our Zeiss representative, Matt Curtis, UNMC is now the best-equipped microscopy center in the midwest region.

The Airyscan represents new technology, that manages to obtain resolution beyond that of confocal light microscopy (about 1.7 fold higher to about ~180 nm in the x-y plane—see images below), but not as good as with SIM (~100 nm). The way this works is that the pinhole, which is typically adjusted on the confocal to allow in light (at the expense of resolution), is left open and all the light is collected by a series of detectors. Through engineering ‘tricks’ that are similar to deconvolution, the signals are subsequently reassigned from the 32 detectors and this increases the signal-to-noise ratio—and thus the resolution.

The Airyscan is very easy to use, and not too different from the Zeiss LSM 710, and I would encourage users to talk to Janice and/or Jimmy for a brief training session so that you can take advantage of this new equipment. The user fees for the LSM 800 Airyscan will remain (for now) at $40/hour assisted use and $30/hour unassisted use. This is essentially the same as for the Zeiss 710 confocal microscope, and a very reasonable hourly fee compared to other microscopy core facilities. We will do our best to maintain inexpensive user fees as long as we can.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Keith Johnson, who along with the Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling Center of Biological Research Excellence (CoBRE), has been a huge supporter of the ‘modernization’ of our facility. Keith has been instrumental in pushing to obtain both the new super-resolution microscope, as well as our new Airyscan microscope. Every microscopy user on campus owes a debt of gratitude to Keith, and this can (and should) be repaid by acknowledging Keith’s CoBRE grant on publications and presentations:

 Support for the UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility was provided by the Nebraska Research Initiative, the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA036727), and an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the NIGMS of the NIH (P30GM106397).  The following NIH SIG funded instruments were used (please select from the list below)”

Zeiss ELYRA PS.1 Super Resolution System “Nebraska Research Initiative Grant” and Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling CoBRE “NIH P30GM106397

LSM 800 Zeiss Airyscan Microscope Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling CoBRE “NIH P30GM106397

LSM 710 Zeiss Confocal Microscope “NIH  S10RR027301“
LSM 510 Zeiss Confocal Microscope “NIH S10RR019278

Confocal Image

Courtesy of A. Seitz, BioImaging and Optics Core Facility, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland