University of Minnesota
University Imaging Center
University Imaging Centers - Where the University sees the future


UIC Workshop: Confocal Microscopy


The UMN University Imaging Centers (UIC) will be holding a three-day hands on workshop on confocal microscopy June 18-20, 2019 at our Jackson Hall facility.

Registration for the workshop is now full. If you're interested in being added to a waitlist please email Alex Cramer (


The goal of the workshop is to provide a clear conceptual framework for the operation of multiple confocal microscopes and instruct the participants on the practical aspects of image acquisition. The workshop will consist of lectures from UIC staff and invited instructors and over 15 hours of microscope time. Participants will receive training in laser scanning confocal microscopes, with special emphasis on the basics of image acquisition.  There will be time and equipment available for special techniques such as spectral imaging and FRAP. Participants are encouraged to provide their own samples and the instructors will be available to help in image acquisition optimization.

The workshop will take place in Jackson Hall on the Minneapolis East Bank campus of the U. of Minnesota. Lectures will cover from the basics of fluorescence to the different instrumentation configurations and applications in the newest laser scanning confocal microscopes.

Hands on training and practice with user samples will take place in the Jackson Hall site of the UIC, with a Nikon TiE A1Rsi, Olympus IX2 Fluoview 1000, Olympus BX2 Fluoview 1000, Nikon FN1 A1R MP, and Zeiss Axio Observer Spinning Disk Confocal. In addition to the microscope systems, users will also be able to utilize UIC data analysis workstations.

UIC ImageFest - Thank you!

Thank you to the UMN research community, visiting speakers, and sponsoring vendors for making the University Imaging Centers first annual ImageFest a success!


The University Imaging Centers are Hiring

The University Imaging Centers are Hiring!

We are seeking applicants who are service-oriented team players with excellent interpersonal, organizational and communication skills who enjoy moving science forward using state-of-the-art imaging resources.

The successful candidate will join a team of UIC associates responsible for the daily interactions of a dynamic interdisciplinary core facility at a major research University. This candidate will support and advance imaging projects primarily at our Jackson Hall location. This will include working on widefield, confocal, two photon, in vivo imaging and other efforts by the UIC.

We are looking for a degree in biology, chemistry or biomedical imaging. There is a need to be ready to help researchers with both trivial and advanced aspects of imaging projects. Experience in sample preparation (fixation, staining, antibody labeling, etc.), and advanced light microscopy is required and/or some experience with image analysis would be a strong plus. The successful candidate should be prepared to be in a dynamic multi-user environment whereby four basic areas of service must be covered:

  • Maximize the availability of advanced imaging technologies and methodologies to faculty, staff, students and external users. 
  • Bring expertise in new imaging technologies to users.
  • Educate the University community about new imaging technologies.
  • Promote interaction between developers of new imaging technology and potential users.

To learn more about the position or apply visit the UMN job posting.

High Resolution Form 2 SLA 3D Printing



The University Imaging Centers has recently installed a Form 2 SLA 3D printer.

Stereolithography (SLA) 3D printing uses a laser to cure solid isotropic parts from a liquid photopolymer resin delivering high-resolution parts.

Stereolithography is a form of 3D printing technology used for creating models layer by layer using photopolymerization, a process by which light causes chains of molecules to link, forming polymers. Those polymers then make up the body of a three-dimensional solid.

To learn more visit UIC 3D Printing.

UIC Update: I Can See Clearly Now...

The University Imaging Centers (UIC) is excited to announce new capabilities to our sample preparation services to include whole tissue clearing and labeling. Biological specimens are intrinsically three-dimensional; however light scattering while imaging deeply into a tissue volume is problematic. Efforts to eliminate the scatter by “clearing” the tissue have been ongoing for well over a century, with a large number of recent innovations, under names such as CLARITY, PACT/PARS, iDISCO, SeeDB, CUBIC, Scale and a host of others.

The subsequent imaging of this cleared tissue is the next challenge and single and multi-photon confocal microscopes and light-sheet instruments are leading the way in resolution and speed of acquisition.

A third challenge is the data. With dataset in the 10s to 1000s of GBs per image the data’s shear volume is a significant challenge.

The UIC is expanding its service offering in all three areas.  1) we will be hiring a full-time staff member to identify the best clearing methodology. We have also optimized clearing methods using microwave-assisted methods developed in the UIC as well as commercial clearing systems (XClarity).  We have posted a position (UIC Clearing Job) to validate and optimize the appropriate clearing methodology for our expansive user base.  2) We have macro and micro-scale objectives specially designed for cleared tissue for our confocal and diSPIM light sheet systems. We are further evaluating additional imaging tools to add to our imaging resources.  3) We have added to our computational hardware and software (OpenSPIM, AMIRA, Imaris and Nikon Elements) These efforts are possible thanks to the joint support of ITN, the MDT addiction team, Department of Neuroscience, the AHC/Medical School, the OVPR’s office and the UIC.