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Platform for Imaging by Microscopy

Seeing the light

The Platform for Imaging by Microscopy (PIM) offers a wide range of light microscopy instruments and image analysis tools, consultations, training, and support to the research community at the CHU Sainte-Justine (affiliated with Université de Montréal), as well as collaborators and external clients.

Technologies offered

Technologies and microscope features offered at the PIM :

  1. Confocal microscopy, laser scanning and spinning disk – high contrast and resolution, optical sectioning
  2. Spectral imaging – free choice of emission wavelength range without filters
    • SP8, SP8-DLS, SP8-STED, SP8-MP
  3. White light laser – free choice of excitation wavelength between 470 and 670 nm
    • SP8-STED
  4. Multi-photon microscopy – powerful laser of long wavelength (infrared) to penetrate deep into tissue
    • SP8-MP
  5. Super-resolution microscopy – acquisition (and image processing) methods to go beyond limit of resolution in fluorescence microscopy
    • STED nanoscopy : SP8-STED
    • “Lightning” deconvolution-based super-resolution: SP8, SP8-DLS, SP8-MP
  6. Total Internal Reflection Microscopy (TIRF) – imaging a very thin layer of fluorescence
    • SD-TIRF
  7. FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching) – molecular dynamics of defined sample regions by targeted bleaching; mechanism can also be used for guided photo-activation etc.
  8. Light-sheet imaging – fast, gentle fluorescence imaging of larger volume samples (several mm3)
    • SP8-DLS
  9. Laser Micro-Dissection (LMD) – precise cutting of defined regions of microscopic specimen
    • LMD
  10. Live cell imaging – environmental control (temperature, CO2, humidity) for long-term imaging of cells, organoids, embryos
    • SD-TIRF, SP8-STED, SP8-DLS, (SP8), DMi8-1, DMi8-2, Stereo
  11. Rapid imaging – mechanisms to speed up time-lapse or other multi-dimensional image capture projects
    • Resonant scanning (8000 Hz): SP8, SP8-STED, SP8-MP
    • Fast camera capture : SD-TIRF, DMi8-1, DMi8-2, SP8-DLS (in DLS mode), AxioScan
  12. Automatic sample scanning – extending the field of view by capturing a mosaic of overlapping images and stitching them into a composite
    • Fully automatic with slide feeder: AxioScan
    • Semi-automatic : SD-TIRF, SP8, SP8-STED, SP8-DLS, SP8-MP, DMi8-1, DMi8-2, DMi8-3, DM6-1
  13. Long working distance objectives – imaging up to several millimeters into samples at intermediate to high resolution
    • DMi8-1, DMi8-3, SP8-MP, SP8-DLS
  14. Monochrome and color detection – fast, light-sensitive cameras and detectors
    • Color : AxioScan, DM6-2, DMi8-3, stereo, LMD
    • Monochrome : SD-TIRF, SP8, SP8-STED, SP8-DLS, SP8-MP, DMi8-1, DMi8-2, DMi8-3, DM6-1, AxioScan, stereo
  15. Transmitted light and fluorescence detection
    • Transmitted light : SD-TIRF, SP8, SP8-STED, SP8-DLS, DMi8-1, DMi8-2, DMi8-3, DM6-1, DM6-2, AxioScan, stereo (also reflected light)
    • Fluorescence : SD-TIRF, SP8, SP8-STED, SP8-DLS, DMi8-1, DMi8-2, DMi8-3, DM6-1, AxioScan, stereo
  16. Large samples – imaging samples of 1 mm or more in diameter in a single field of view
    • Macroscopy : Stereo
  17. Upright and inverted configurations – objectives above or below the sample for working with different sample types
    • Upright : SP8-MP, DM6-1, DM6-2, AxioScan, Stereo, LMD, SP8-DLS
    • Inverted : SD-TIRF, SP8, SP8-STED, SP8-DLS, DMi8-1, DMi8-2, DMi8-3


Which technology can be done on which instrument?


  SD-TIRF SP8 SP8-DLS SP8-STED SP8-MP LMD DM6-1 DM6-2 DMi8-1 DMi8-2 DMi8-3 m AxioScan Stereo
Confocal SD LS LS LS                  
Spectral   + + +                  
White light laser     +                    
Multi-photon       +                  
TIRF +                        
Super-resolution   (+) (+) + (+)                
FRAP + + + + +                
Light-sheet imaging     +                    
Laser micro-dissection           +              
Live cell imaging + (+) + +         + +     +
Rapid imaging + + + (DLS) + +       + +   +  
Automatic sample scanning (mosaic) (+) (+) (+) (+) (+) (+) (+) (+) (+) (+) (+) +  
Long working distance objectives     (+)   +       +   +   +
Detection (monochr./colour) M M M M M C, M M C M M C, M C, M C, M
Fluorescence + + + + + + +   + + + + +
Large samples     (+)   (+)               +
Stand inv inv inv/upr inv upr upr upr upr inv inv inv upr upr



Platform Manager
Elke Küster-Schöck 
514 345-4931, extension 5231

Gilles Hickson
Graziella Di Cristo

Head, Scientific Platforms
Valérie Villeneuve
514 345-4931, extension 2786

Usage request and rules

Please fill this online form for any usage request
We will then contact you to arrange for a short consultation to discuss your imaging needs and set up training as needed.

If you are already a user of the CRCHUSJ platform portal, you can request training in the “my profile” section.

Online booking portal

  • Booking portal
    Registration required by contacting the Platform Manager

Financial partners

  • CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation 
  • Leica Microsystems

About this page
Updated on 11/8/2023
Created on 8/14/2017
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