The Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy Confocal Microscope Facility
Director: Dr. Vladimir Zhukarev
- The Confocal Facility consists of the Leica TCS SP2 VIS/UV and Leica TCS SP8 VIS/UV confocal microscopes with semi-automatic Upright and inverted optical stands and Windows computer workstations. The Facility is housed in room 251 on the 2nd floor of Queen Lane, in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy.
- The director, Dr. Zhukarev, trains all new users, oversees day-to-day operation, maintains the Facility and updates the reservation calendar and schedule of microscope use. Dr. Zhukarev supervises the overall operation by establishing rules and procedures for the use of the microscope. All problems or issues that arise with the microscope are to be directed to Dr. Zhukarev.
- In the long run Dr. Zhukarev will also participate in specific research projects that require complex image acquisition and analysis as specified below.
- Use of the microscope is restricted to investigators within the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy. People from outside of the Department who wish to use the system must receive authorization from the Department Chair Dr. Itzhak Fischer.
- All users must obtain training prior to unsupervised use of the microscope, even if other workers from the same laboratory have already been trained or the user has had prior experience with a similar microscope.
- The microscope is available to eligible users after training within the proper procedures and guidelines.
- Access to the facility is allowed between 9am and 6pm Monday through Friday. Special authorization is required to excess Facility during weekends or outside of the normal hours of operation.
- Individual researchers are responsible for conducting their own imaging sessions on the microscope. Problems while using the microscope should be recorded in the log journal. It is important to keep in mind that failure to do so creates the potential of serious hardware breakdown with very expensive repair as a result.
- All training of new users will be conducted by Dr. Zhukarev only.
- Principal Investigators should contact the director to request training of his/her students.
Help and collaboration of research projects
- Dr. Zhukarev will be available to help with research projects in both the acquisition of high resolution images and in image processing steps for all microscope platforms, including the two-photon and the super-resolution microscopes (at Biology).
- Arrangement for research help and collaboration are encouraged but must be approved by Department Chair Dr. Itzhak Fischer
Reserving the Confocal Microscope
- Users should book time on the microscope up to one week in advance; cancellation of planned usage should be made in timely fashion. The ‘Google calendar’ application that is provided free for Gmail customers is the most user-friendly way to make reservations. It is expected that all confocal microscope facility users will provide their e-mail address to have access to the calendar in sharing mode. While defining a time slot users should also enter: 1) user name, 2) very brief description of the imaging experiment and 3) the name of PI.
Example: Joe Somebody; spinal cord tissue slices, fixed specimen, DAPI/Cy3/Cy5 fluorescence; Dr. Tom.
- Unless there are urgent needs (e.g., before major meetings such as SFN), the time slot duration can be as long as the full working day hours of the Facility (i.e. 9am-6pm). Exception is for live specimen experiments, when the microscope can be booked for several consecutive days. Due to safety regulations, overnight-unsupervised imaging is not permitted.
- Under no circumstances may a user sign up for time using another person’s name.
Image Facility rules
- Users will obtain a key for the Facility from the office of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy.
- Users should record their actual log-in and log-out time in the microscope log journal located on the workstation desk.
- Before turning the system on users must turn on the air conditioning unit using remote control. The very last user of the day should turn it off before leaving the room.
- Entering the room wearing protective gloves is not permitted. Food and drinks are not allowed.
- Before starting their session users must clean old oil off their slides using 70% alcohol. Mixture of oils either on the slide or on the oil lenses (where it will end up staying) corrupts the quality of image acquisition.
- Spills must be taken care of immediately and reported in the log journal for further technical care.
- At the end of each session, oil objective lenses must be gently blotted by a stretched Kimwipe.
- If the microscope is not scheduled to be used again for more than 1 hour after a current session is over (check the Google calendar schedule), all components of the microscope should be shut down according to the posted shutdown procedure. If the interval is shorter, the user needs to close the Leica software program and to log out leaving the confocal microscope hardware running.
- The last user of the day is responsible for ensuring that the microscope is shut down properly.
- The workstation runs the Windows XP operating system that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Because of that, the workstation is going to be kept separated from the Institutional network.
- Users are not allowed to download or install software on the computer.
- Users should back-up their files on CD/DVD or other storage medium, and delete their files from the hard disk. Any user data remaining on the hard drive will be removed during routine maintenance by the end of each month without notifying users.
Cancellation of user privileges
- Because this is shared use facility repetitive violation of the stated rules and procedures will not be tolerated. Perpetrators will be subject to loss of privileges at the discretion of the Facility Director.