Department of Cell Systems & Anatomy

Optical Imaging Facility Services


Please contact Core Facility before starting experiments
to discuss options and experimental design.
  • Confocal/Multiphoton Microscopy
  • Widefield Microscopy (Fluorescence and/or Transmitted Light)
  • Fluorescence Stereo Microscopy
  • Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy
  • Fluorescence Spectral Imaging
  • Whole Animal Imaging (Fluorescence, Bioluminescence)
  • Staff-Assisted Imaging
  • Image Processing / Analysis
  • Training
  • Consultation

Instruments in the Core Optical Imaging Facility will be made available to anyone requiring the unique attributes of the resident technologies for the conduct of their experiments. As is our current procedure, new clients first consult with facility staff to determine the appropriate technology for their experiments. Facility staff works with the client to obtain preliminary results to demonstrate experimental feasibility. Once the feasibility of the experiment has been established, the PI (or a person he/she identifies), will be trained to become a user of the instrument. Facility staff instructs the trainees on the theory of imaging and provides step-by-step instruction on configuring the microscope, acquiring images, archiving images, and analysis and processing of images. Once the trainee becomes an independent user (as determined by appropriate use of the instrument the user can reserve instrument time on a first-come basis. Facility staff is available for consultation, incidental questions and additional training. The facility uses a web-based calendar for remote reservation of instrument time. A client server system monitors instrument usage. These data are used to assess hourly charges for use of the equipment.


Clients may contract with facility staff to perform imaging for them or the client may be trained to use instrumentation independent of facility staff. Training on a given instrument is done in two steps. First, the client participates in a tutorial session during which they are instructed in both the theory and basic operation of the instrument. Second, the client participates in a "hands-on" practical session during which time the client performs the basic setup and operation of the instrument under the supervision of a staff member. At this time the client will also learn how to optimize the instrument's operation for their specific projects. After successfully completing the practical session the client is considered an independent user of the instrument and can reserve time on a first-come basis through calendars accessible from the web.


Facility staff are available to provide advice to clients on experimental design, probe selection and specimen preparation. All clients wishing to use the instrumentation in the facility are strongly encouraged to meet with facility staff prior to using the facility to discuss their projects in order to ensure that the project is feasible and is designed to take greatest advantage of the available equipment. Once the project has begun, facility staff will continue to support the activities of the client through consultation and training.


Center Affiliation
Charges to clients belonging to P30 or P01 grants for which the Core Optical Imaging Facility is a designated Core will receive discounts commensurate with the level of funding received from the center.


Publication Acknowledgements:

The facility should be listed in the "Acknowledgements" section of any publication using data generated in the OIF as follows:
    "Images were generated in the Core Optical Imaging Facility which is supported by UTHSCSA, NIH-NCI P30 CA54174 (CTRC at UTHSCSA) and NIH-NIA P01AG19316."