Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Fluorescence Microscopy


The Fluorescence Microscopy Unit houses fluorescence-based instruments for assessing the various properties of cells, particles or molecules of interest. The two techniques used in the unit are fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. With fluorescence microscopy one is able to determine localization/co-localization as well as mean intensity of a molecule of interest. Flow cytometry performs multicolour quantification and sorting of cell or particle populations.

Please visit our blog:

Fluorescence Microscopy Unit: Main Campus

The unit on main campus specializes in both single cell and population statistics as well as imaging of a wide variety of sample types using fluorescence based techniques.

Both microscopes are supplied with incubation systems, controlling the temperature and gas flow of the imaging chamber during imaging, which allows for very dynamic analysis of cell function, such as migration studies.

The unit is also equipped with a high-end microscope with a Super-Resolution Structured Illumination Microscopy platform. This technology allows for a dramatic increase in the achievable limit of resolution, to visualise structures as small as 100 nm. In 2015 the microscope will also be upgraded to include the PALM/STORM super-resolution platform, which reduces resolution limits down to 20nm, as well as CLEM, which enables a researcher to image the same sample on both the super-resolution microscope and an electron microscope. With the addition of these high-end techniques to our current collection at Stellenbosch University, South African researchers now have access to high-quality imaging.

The unit houses the following instruments:

  • Carl Zeiss LSM 780 confocal microscope with Super-resolution platforms
  • Olympus IX81 widefield microscope
  • BD FACSAria Cell sorter
  • Leica CM1860 UV Cryostat
  • Leica UC7 Ultramicrotome system

For specific instrument settings and configurations, please go to Downloads and download the appropriate document.

Tygerberg CAF Lite Flow Cytometry Division

Flow cytometry is one of the most powerful techniques for the 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 fluorescent intensity of the particles or cells of interest.

The Flow Cytometry Division includes all the flow cytometers in the BD/CAF Flow cytometry facility, as well as a new cell sorter for infectious sorting, which is housed in a BSLIII laboratory in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. The BD/CAF flow cytometry facility will be jointly managed by BD Biosciences and CAF.

The unit houses the following instruments:

  • FACSCalibur (2 instruments)
  • FACSCanto II
  • FACSCount
  • BD Accuri

For infectious sorting the following instruments are available:

  • FACSJazz
  • BioRad S3 cell sorter

For specific laser and filter configurations for each of the instruments, please go to Downloads and download the appropriate document.