Cell Characterisation

In order to understand the behaviour of mammalian cells in different biological systems it is necessary to study the internal processes within cells and the interactions of cells with each other. The NICB Cell Characterisation Core Facility is equipped a wide range of specialised equipment for visualising cells and analysing cell populations.

Microscopy Equipment for Cell Characterisation

  • NIKON white light TIRF microscope
  • The facility is equipped with a Leica SP2 AOBS Confocal Microscope allowing for optical sectioning of samples with greater resolution compared to standard epi-fluorescence imaging. The system is capable of spectral scanning and unmixing and is suitable for FRAP, FLIP and FRET.
  • Tissues and complex 3D cultures can be processed using the automated tissue processer, embedding station, microtome and cryostat. High throughput and reproducible staining can be performed using automated slide stainer.
  • For routine visualisation and imaging the core facility has inverted and upright light and wide field epi-fluoresecent microscopes.
  • Cells can be microdissected from tissue sections by using the PALM LCMD system mounted on an Olympus inverted IX81 platform. The dissected cells can then be further analysed using the normal nucleic acid and protein analysis methods.
  • The dynamic processes of living cells can be investigated with the time-lapse Nikon Eclipse Tie fluorescent inverted microscope with a cooled Photometrics Cool Snap HQ2 camera. The environmental chamber has Temperature, CO2 and N2 control. To maintain image focus in long term time-lapse experiments the system is equipped with Nikon’s PFS (Perfect Focus System). The system is controlled via Metamorph software which is also available on a stand-alone platform for image analysis.
  • In order to study the expression of molecules and cell behaviour in cell populations the cell characterisation core facility has a flow cytometry capability. For high throughput analysis has a Guava EasyCyte Plus platform. For high end analysis and the sorting of specific cells from populations the facility has a BD FACSAria cell sorter.