Imaging Solutions for Your Life Science Core Facility
Equip Your Facility with the Technology That Enables Your Research Community
The breadth of equipment available in your imaging facility is key in defining the impact, success and growth of your core lab. Providing the right range of solutions ensures your userbase is large and varied and that instrument usage is high so that your return on investment is achieved quickly. ZEISS’ cutting-edge portfolio of tools will set your core facility apart and provide the flexibility and reliability that you need to maintain and expand your userbase.
Find below a selection of trending applications and technologies we have found to be in increasingly high demand in our partner core facilities across the globe.
Live Sample Imaging
Capturing Events in Living Specimens
The capacity to image live samples has revolutionized our understanding of modern biology. Developments in technology and sample management continue to expand the range of experiment possibilities. Technology developments are especially important for live imaging since the trade-offs between resolution, speed and sensitivity need to be balanced very carefully. The growing demand for capturing events in living specimens has made live imaging technology a cornerstone of light microscopy core facilities.
Exploring Specimens at Higher Resolution
Rapid developments in super-resolution technologies, instruments which can resolve details from 20 nm ~ 120 nm, have significantly expanded the range of applications and sample types that can benefit from these techniques. Sample preparation requirements have also become less stringent so more and more specimens can be explored. Many users of fluorescence microscopy are now interested in exploring their specimens at higher resolution and this is driving the need for super-resolution technologies in core imaging labs.
Increasing Efficiency and Reproducibility
The drive for reproducibility and statistical robustness has fueled an increase in automated and efficient microscopy to both reduce user bias and quickly increase the number of sample points for statistical analysis. Automated imaging can provide the capacity for high content screening, scanning many hundreds of slides, capturing multiplex data, acquiring extended time lapse movies or easy remote operation of imaging equipment. For core imaging facilities these powerful capabilities come with the added benefit of reduced training requirements so users can quickly become self-sufficient.
Cleared Tissue Imaging
For large and dense specimens, including brain and large model organisms, tissue clearing is a powerful means to image much deeper without the need for physical sectioning. While some facilities opt for a dedicated cleared tissue imaging system, others may choose a more versatile approach to address the needs of a wider userbase.
High-Resolution Structural Imaging
Revealing the Ultrastructure
Exploring samples using electrons provides a wealth of structural information. The resulting information can be used alone, or in combination with microscopy data from other technologies to uncover details of how structure and function relate to each other.
Users may want to capture structural information in a single 2D image or expand to 3D to look at structure in a complete volume. Core facilities are facing increasing demands to provide solutions that range from imaging water-based samples to vitrified cells to large scale tissue blocks and volumetric acquisitions of resin embedded specimens. Whatever the application the core facility needs to provide solutions that are sufficiently robust and easy to use for a wide userbase to benefit.
Non-Destructive X-ray Imaging
Gaining Structural Insights
The non-destructive capture of 3D data using X-rays provides a valuable means of assessing the structure of biological specimens. ZEISS X-ray imaging systems provide both the high-contrast and high-resolution capabilities necessary for clear visualization of internal structures. Core facilities use X-ray imaging for a variety of applications including gaining structural insight from a wide range of specimens, checking sample preparation and integrity before further analysis, such as at the synchrotron, or identifying regions of interest for subsequent exploration using electron microscopy.
Imaging the Near-to-Native State
Native morphology of biological specimens can only be observed when you freeze your sample instead of using chemical fixatives. ZEISS’ field emission scanning electron microscopes (FE-SEMs) and focused ion beam scanning electron microscopes (FIB-SEMs) support cryo workflows and can image your delicate life science samples with outstanding performances at low voltages. ZEISS has also developed a seamless Correlative Cryo Workflow which connects widefield, laser scanning confocal and FIB-SEM in a seamless and easy-to-use procedure that is ideal for use in the core imaging facility.
Keeping Data in Context
Thorough investigation of biological samples often requires the use of more than one imaging approach. As the leading manufacturer of imaging solutions across the range of length scales, from light to X-ray to electron microscopy, ZEISS has created easy solutions for multi-modal imaging to guide you through all possible workflows. In addition, ZEN software provides a means of not only storing the data from each of the technologies in context, with a record of where each piece of valuable information resides relative to the others, but also offers a means of aligning these data in three dimensions so that valuable insights can be revealed. You can import data from any microscope system into ZEN and results from approaches other than imaging can even be added so your users keep a record of all their data about each sample in one place.