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Microscopy Unit: Fluorescence Microscopy

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The CAF Fluorescence Microscopy Unit at Stellenbosch University in the Western Cape houses fluorescence-based instruments for assessing the various properties of cells, particles or molecules of interest in a wide variety of samples.

Fluorescence Microscopes:

With fluorescence microscopy, one is able to determine localization/co-localization as well as mean intensity of a molecule of interest. Some advances in techniques now even allow structural analysis on a nanoscale.

Each microscopes is equipped with an incubation system, controlling the temperature and gas flow of the imaging chamber, which allows for very dynamic analysis of cell function, such as migration studies. Two different super-resolution platforms, SR SIM and PALM/STORM are available. This technology allows a dramatic increase in the achievable limit of resolution, to visualise structures as small as 100 nm and 30 nm respectively. The microscope can also be used for other advanced techniques, including FRETTIRF and photo-activation/bleaching experiments.

The CAF Microscopy unit is also the leader in South Africa on correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM). This technique enables a researcher to image the same sample on both the fluorescence microscope and an electron microscope. 

Forescence Microscopes:

With fluorescence microscopy one is able to determine localization/co-localization as well as mean intensity of a molecule of interest and with some advancements in the techniques structural analysis on a nanoscale is now possible.

 All our microscopes are equipped with an incubation system, controlling the temperature and gas flow of the imaging chamber, which allows for very dynamic analysis of cell function, for example during migration studies. Two different super-resolution platforms, SR SIM and PALM/STORM is available. This technology allows a dramatic increase in the achievable limit of resolution, to visualise structures as small as 100 nm and 30 nm respectively.  A Shuttle and Find plugin, which allows for correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) with our Electron Microscopy Unit. This technique enables a researcher to image the same sample on both the super-resolution microscope and an electron microscope. The microscope has been used for other advanced techniques including FRET, TIRF and photo-activation/bleaching experiments.

Flow Cytometers:

Flow cytometry performs multicolour quantification and sorting of cell or particle populations. It is one of the most powerful techniques for characterization of properties of cells and particles. This technology allows for the rapid and concurrent measurement of the physical and fluorescent parameters of 0.5-50µm particles, as they pass through a laser beam, giving information about the relative size, internal complexity and fluorescence intensity of the particles or cells of interest.

Some Flow Cytometry Applications:

  1. Viability assessment
  2. Ploidy analysis
  3. Cell cycle analysis
  4. Apoptosis assays
  5. Oxidative stress assays
  6. Phenotyping using multi-colour panels
  7. Cell sorting, including two-way sorting and plate sorting

Imaging Flow cytometer:

Our latest addition, the AMNIS imaging flow cytometer combines the best of microscopy and flow cytometry, providing a very fast analyses tool to image thousands of cells or particles in suspension for further analyses.

The unit have laboratories on Stellenbosch main campus and on Tygerberg Medical Campus. There is now also a biosafety class II cabinet available in the Stellenbosch unit for visiting users who need to work with their samples in a sterile environment. A cryostat is also available for sample preparation prior to imaging.

Fluorescence Microscopes:

With fluorescence microscopy one is able to determine localization/co-localization as well as mean intensity of a molecule of interest and with some advancements in the techniques structural analysis on a nanoscale is now possible.

 All our microscopes are equipped with an incubation system, controlling the temperature and gas flow of the imaging chamber, which allows for very dynamic analysis of cell function, for example during migration studies. Two different super-resolution platforms, SR SIM and PALM/STORM is available. This technology allows a dramatic increase in the achievable limit of resolution, to visualise structures as small as 100 nm and 30 nm respectively.  A Shuttle and Find plugin, which allows for correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) with our Electron Microscopy Unit. This technique enables a researcher to image the same sample on both the super-resolution microscope and an electron microscope. The microscope has been used for other advanced techniques including FRET, TIRF and photo-activation/bleaching experiments.

Flow Cytometers:

Flow cytometry performs multicolour quantification and sorting of cell or particle populations. It is one of the most powerful techniques for characterization of properties of cells and particles. This technology allows for the rapid and concurrent measurement of the physical and fluorescent parameters of 0.5-50µm particles, as they pass through a laser beam, giving information about the relative size, internal complexity and fluorescence intensity of the particles or cells of interest.

Some Flow Cytometry Applications:

  1. Viability assessment

  2. Ploidy analysis

  3. Cell cycle analysis

  4. Apoptosis assays

  5. Oxidative stress assays

  6. Phenotyping using multi-colour panels

  7. Cell sorting, including two-way sorting and plate sorting

Imaging Flow cytometer:

Our latest addition, the AMNIS imaging flow cytometer combines the best of microscopy and flow cytometry, providing a very fast analyses tool to image thousands of cells or particles in suspension for further analyses.

The unit have laboratories on Stellenbosch main campus and on Tygerberg Medical Campus. There is now also a biosafety class II cabinet available in the Stellenbosch unit for visiting users who need to work with their samples in a sterile environment. A cryostat is also available for sample preparation prior to imaging.

     

Main Campus: Fluorescence Microscopy Unit

The unit on main campus specializes in confocal microscopy and other advanced fluorescence imaging techniques, and is involved in imaging of a wide variety of sample types using fluorescence based techniques. Flow cytometry and cell sorting is also available here.

The unit houses the following instruments:

Main Campus: 

The unit on main campus specializes in confocal microscopy and other advanced fluorescence imaging techniques and is involved in imaging of a wide variety of sample types using fluorescence-based techniques.

The unit houses the following instruments:

Carl Zeiss LSM 780 confocal microscope with Super-resolution platforms

Olympus IX81 widefield microscope

Leica CM1860 UV Cryostat

For specific instrument settings and configurations, click on the name of each instrument.​


Tygerberg Campus:

At the Tygerberg unit, the Zeiss AxioObserver Microscope is available for use.  The Zeiss Axio Observer 7 Inverted Microscope is a platform for either light and/or fluorescence microscopy imaging to analyse fixed cells or tissue sections. An added feature to this particular unit is an incubation chamber, offering the option of performing live cell imaging under control physiological conditions.

For specific instrument settings and configurations, click on the name of each instrument.​​

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​Olympus IX81 fluorescent microscope for live cell imaging in fluorescence and light transmission mode.


​Leica CM1860 UV Cryostat for sectioning of frozen samples.


Carl Zeiss Confocal LSM 780 Elyra PS1 with SR-SIM and PALM/dSTORM super resolution platforms for multiple colour analysis. Its dramatic increase in resolution allows to visualize structures that structures as small as 30 nm.


Tygerberg Zeiss microscope