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Optical Biology Core Shared Resource Facility

J. Lawrence Marsh, Ph.D.

The Optical Biology Core operates under the theme that technology enables discovery. Consequently, the goal of the OBC is to provide the best conventional microscopy platforms available and to develop and introduce novel optical methods that allow new discoveries to be made. To this end, the OBC has been aggressive in seeking funds for improved instruments as they become available.

The OBC is also very active in taking advantage of its proximity to two National Laboratories at UC Irvine that develop new optical methods. Adoption of new technologies and methods by the OBC leverages their expertise into value added to CFCCC users. We are particularly focused on expanding the availability and use of quantitative optical methods. We conduct frequent workshops as well as individual training sessions to encourage users to incorporate new technologies into their research. The value in this can be seen in the continuously increasing resolution and decreasing acquisition time for users as they upgraded from the early confocal microscopes to the Zeiss 510 to the Zeiss 780.

This trend will continue with the newly acquired Leica SP8 confocal and as we look into acquiring new imaging systems such as the Lightsheet Microscope. We have also identified unmet needs and, in conjunction with the Laboratory for Fluorescence Dynamics, made Fluoresence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) available to users. These methods allow particle tracking, protein interactions and metabolic states of cells to be quantified and analyzed in 3 dimensions and have led to various discoveries such as cancer cells converting to Warburg metabolism (Pate et al., 2014) and stem cells exhibiting a unique metabolic signature (Stringari, et al., 2012).

The specific aims of OBC are:

  1. To provide access to new instrumentation including Super Resolution Microscopy and Flow Cytometry;
  2. To continue to develop new non-invasive, laser-based therapeutics; and
  3. To expand resources for training and workshops for the full spectrum of optical methods and technologies

The OBC is comprised of two components:

  • A self-use facility (OBC) located in 4443 McGaugh Hall on the UC Irvine campus, which houses a
    • Zeiss LSM 780: 3 detectors (2PMT’s and 1 GaAsp), 7 laser lines 405nm, 458nm, 488nm, 514nm, 561nm, and 633nm. Equipped with CO2 incubator, FLIM detector and 2 photon laser for deep tissue imaging.
    • LSM 700:  2 detectors, 4 laser lines (405nm, 488nm, 555nm, and 633nm). Ideal for imaging image live cells, fixed samples, model organisms, single molecules and anything in between.
    • Leica SP8: 4 detectors (2PMT’s and 2 GaAsp), 6 laser lines 405nm, 458nm, 488nm, 514nm, 561nm, and 633nm. Built in deconvolution software for 3D rendering of images.
    • Volocity image analysis software is available on a high-end workstation or can be used from your office computer. Training is provided and targeted workshops occur routinely. Users can sign in 24 hours/day, 7 days a week.

      Services provided include:
      • Confocal microscopy
      • 2-photon microscopy
      • Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) / FRET via FLIM
      • Single particle tracking
      • Image Correlation Spectroscopy (ICS) / Raster Image Correlation Spectroscopy (RICS)
      • Mapping of molecular aggregates using Number & Brightness (N&B) analysis
      • Extensive training and workshops to bring users up to the full capabilities of the systems available

      Training is provided and targeted workshops occur routinely. Users can sign up for time on any of the scopes 24hours/day, 7 days a week.  Recharges are $20/hr for the Zeiss 780 and Leica SP8 and $15/hr for the LSM 700.  Recharge rates are reduced by 50% for off-peak hours (i.e. outside of 8-6, M-F).  Dr. Syed manages this facility and provides training and on-site trouble shooting as well as experimental advice. More information can be found at http://obc.bio.uci.edu.

    • The Laser Microbeam and Medical Program facility (LAMMP), which is an NIBIB Biomedical Technology Resource Center located in the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic (BLIMC). This facility is available for collaborative use and protocol development using a number of microscopes and technologies being developed by that center. Information about the capabilities can be found at http://lammp.bli.uci.edu/. Some of their capabilities include Multi-Dimensional Microscopy (MDM) platforms for studying skin carcinomas, techniques to detect early melanoma non-invasively, and breast cancer screening using visible light (diffuse optical spectroscopy and imaging, DOSI) rather than X-rays. Dr. Krasieva manages this facility and is available for consultation and extended protocol development for investigators seeking new imaging applications. They are supported by extensive shop facilities that allow construction and modification of imaging platforms (http://lammp.bli.uci.edu/).

      The LAMMP MDM (multidimensional microscopy) core focuses on the collaborative development of high resolution optical imaging techniques and their application to biomedical problems

Director: Rahul Warrior, Ph.D.
Phone: 949-824-9798

Facility Manager: Adeela Syed
Phone: 949-824-3226

      Financial Manager:
Andrea Wiley
    Phone: 949-824-4706