Description of Core

Infectious Disease and Toxicology Optical Imaging Core (OIC)

The OIC provides assistance with high-resolution imaging and analysis of specimens, including those exposed to infectious agents and/or treated with toxic substances. Agents with infectivity can be accepted up to biosafety level 2, and fixed specimens lacking infectivity will be accepted for any infectious agent authorized on the UTMB campus. The OIC is equipped with a Zeiss LSM 510 UV META laser scanning confocal microscope, a large format fluorescence microscope (Zeiss Axiophot 2) with attached high-resolution digital camera, an inverted fluorescence microscope (Axiovert 200) and color digital camera, and a SLM 4800S life-time spectrofluorometer. The confocal microscope includes: an Axiovert 200M microscope; dry, water-, and oil-immersion high-resolution objectives for fluorescence and Normarski differential interference contrast observation; Ar, dual HeNe, and UV lasers; fluorescence filter sets for DAPI, FITC, TRITC, INDO-1, and SNARF; a scanning module with visible and UV acousto optical tunable filters, two independent fluorescence channels (2 PMTs), a 32-PMT array; and a stage incubator. This instrument is equipped for high-resolution detection of cellular and infectious agent-specific proteins, and in particular for monitoring changes in their volume distribution relative to changes in physiologic parameters. A high-speed computer (Dell 530 work station with dual 1.8 GHz xeon processors) work station with two monitors and software for physiology, scan, and 3D imaging supports the image analysis activities within the OIC. An experienced instrumentation specialist guides operation of the confocal microscope and provides assistance in image analysis and presentation. The instruments are provided on a fee for service basis.