General Information

Life Imaging Center (LIC)


!!!!  LIC re-opened under special usage conditions on the 8th of April !!!!


All details below and in the letters sent to our users


Dear users of the Life Imaging Center - LIC,


the LIC started a limited re-opening on 8th of April taking into account the recommendations worked out by GermanBioImaging ( and endorsed by other scientific societies like DGE, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Elektronenmikroskopie; DGZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zellbiologie; and DGfZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zytometrie. We hope that we have defined conditions allowing a save as possible operation of the LIC under this new situation.


We also asked the major microscope companies for disinfection protocols for their microscopes. Find the specific recommendations for download on the MIAP website (Corona-related information for core facilities):


LIC users already received the new LIC working rules on the 4th of April by mail (PDF download link). Within the last two weeks, the operation of the LIC ran quite smooth and we would like to thank you for your cautiousness under the new situation. Still we have to keep all the new routines, so we remind you, that not adhering to the strict rules will result in a personal booking ban for one week and in case of recurrence in a possible ban for your lab.


Based on the experience of the last two weeks we will now offer from 22.4. the following booking times: 9.00 - 8.00 (morning next day) and more or less all systems can now be booked (further details here).  Contact us for longer time-lapse conditions or weekend bookings. Still no bookings on official Holidays. We urge you to book time slots of at least 3 hours, with a lunch break preferably from 12.00 - 13.00. Between successive booking slots, a break time of 30 minutes is mandatory.


We still will only allow booking of not more than three slots per instrument per workgroup per week. Slots should usually not be longer than 3 hours, except for evening bookings. You cannot book more than 14 days in advance. If extensive time slots are not booked or you need a longer planning security, you can contact us for further bookings.


Be responsible with your bookings, no "Hamster bookings".... .


We have also opened our computer lab for image analysis; up to four workstations can be booked in parallel. Please contact us before booking! We also offer temporary licenses for all major analysis software offered at the LIC facility (suitable for home-lab or home-office usage on appropriate hardware) or direct remote access to LIC analysis workstations are available. Please contact us for details.


We are working on protocols, conditions and technical prerequisites, which will allow us to start with new user introductions under the CORONA situation. We will inform you as soon as possible, when NEW USER INTRODUCTIONS will be available again.


Any questions send to


Best wishes and Stay Healthy!


Roland Nitschke and the LIC team

Contact LIC:


Life Imaging Center (LIC)
(ground floor, office 00.033 and 00.034) 
Center for Biological Systems Analysis (ZBSA)
Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg
Habsburgerstr. 49
79104 Freiburg im Breisgau



Tel: +49 761 203-2934



Fax: +49 761 203-2941



By train: 
From Freiburg Hbf (Central station) take tram line 4 (to station: Hauptstraße), local train connections (direction Offenburg) to station Freiburg Herdern (only 1 station) or bus line 27 (to station: Herdern Kirche) and then by foot: 5 minutes 

By car:
From south (e.g. Basel): Motorway A5 Basel-Karlsruhe; take gateway 62: „Freiburg Mitte” (Center). Take the B31a direction "Freiburg/Donaueschingen". Take B3 (exit "Merzhausen"). Take Stefan-Meier Straße and turn right onto Tennenbacherstraße and Habsburgerstraße.

From north (e.g. Karlsruhe): Motorway A5 Karlsruhe-Basel; take gateway 61: „Freiburg Nord” (North). Take the B294 direction "Freiburg-Nord/Waldkirch/Elztal/Glottertal/Gundelfingen". Follow B294/B3 until you arrive at Habsburgerstraße.

By airplane:
Approx. 1 hour bus ride from the EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg or 2 to 3 hours by train or car from Frankfurt, Stuttgart or Zürich airports.

Take a Tour through the Life Imaging Center (LIC)

Start the tour

The Life Imaging Center, which is now one of the largest facilities of that type in Germany, was founded in 2000 by W. Driever and R. Nitschke as the central project Z2 of the SFB 592 "Signaling mechanisms in embryogenesis and organogenesis". The LIC was originally located in the Institute of Biology I and moved in April 2008 into the new building of the Zentrum für Biosystemanalyse (ZBSA) in Habsburgerstr. 49. With the move into the ZBSA, the LIC also merged with the Imaging Core Facility of the Medical Faculty founded in 2003 by R. Nitschke and M. Frotscher. The LIC works tightly together and shares equipment and software licenses with the Imaging facility of Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI-IE) in Freiburg. 

Life Imaging Center:


The Life Imaging Center (LIC) is a central core facility of the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg open to members of all Faculties and the Universitätsklinikum. Currently more than 280 active users from six Faculties (Biology, Medicine, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Environment and Natural Resources, Mathematics and Physics, and Engineering) use the LIC infrastructure. LIC users come from more than 90 workgroups and the combined usage time of the LIC microscopes in 2017 was about 10.350 hours. The LIC has approximately 60 - 80 new users per year and approximately the same number leaving the facility each year. Users from external institutions (e.g. Max Planck Institutes, Fraunhofer Institutes) and from national and international universities (e.g. Basel, Strasbourg, Haute-Alsace) are able to use the LIC infrastructure. More details about the application procedure and facility guidelines can be found at: You can find contact information for the head and staff of the LIC facility at:

The Life Imaging Center (LIC) consists of 14 rooms in the Center for Biological Systems Analysis (ZBSA) with approximately 400 m² (9 microscopy rooms with 20 microscope set-ups (3D-STED, confocal FLIM, two 2-photon confocal microscopes, 4 conventional confocal microscopes, lightsheet microscope, 4 high-end widefield ratio-imaging set-ups, 4 fluorescence stereo microscopes, 3 special set-ups for screening). The LIC microscopes are hosted in Biosafety level S2 and S1 environments, connected to a large wet lab area and a cell culture room, both Biosafety level S2 classified. Additionally, the LIC offers a large computer lab with 12 high-end workstations for image processing and analysis. The LIC also covers two additional rooms (35 m²), hosting 3 LSM systems in a neighboring building.

Techniques and Samples:

Most modern microscopic techniques (FRET, FRAP, FLIP, FLAP, photo-conversion, photo-activation, uncaging, spectral unmixing, multi-position and large area recording, TIRF, structured illumination, microinjection while imaging) can be performed in combination with live cells or organisms on the available microscope set-ups.

The LIC has a major focus on live cell imaging of all kind of cells, organisms and culture systems used in cell signaling research, developmental biology and neurobiology. Samples are: Embryos (Danio rerio, Drosophila melanogaster, Mus musculus, Xenopus laevis), model organisms or cell clusters (C.elegans, spheres, cysts), plants (root, leave, growth cone), neuronal cultures, explants and biopsies from tissue slices, spheroids, flow cultures as well as cells cultured on glass slides.

LIC is specialized in long time observation and experiments on these objects, high resolution large area and/or multiple location recordings of thick objects with 2P and UV/VIS excitation. A further specialty is culturing and permanent microscopic observation of cells and spheroids over periods of up to 10 days (also under flow conditions in special chambers).

All types of fluorescent proteins including many photo-activatable and photo-convertible are used. We have a large library of fluorescent proteins (more than 150) available for our users via the BIOSS toolbox and we perform test experiments with these constructs before giving them out to our customers. See also: Available excitation wavelengths for imaging at LIC (PDF).

LIC_map Imaging 1 SD-I-TILL Lightsheet Axioimager Z1 Leica FLIM Stereo 2 LSM-U-NLO LSM-I-NLO Stereo-4 DuoLive Leica STED Stereo 3 Wet Lab SD-I-ABL LSM-I Biostation 1 Biostation 2