The Life Imaging Center (LIC) is a central core facility of the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg open to members of all Faculties. Currently 250 active users from 6 Faculties (Biology; Medicine; Chemistry and Pharmacy; Mathematics and Physics; Environment and Natural Resources; and Engineering) are using the infrastructure of the LIC. The users come from app. 84 workgroups and the usage time of the microscopes in 2011 was about 23.000 hours. We have now approximately 60 - 80 new users per year and the same number leaving the facility. Outside users from Freiburg (Max Planck Institutes, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft) and from other universities are also welcome. For the details of application follow this link.
The LIC has now 14 rooms in the ZBSA with app. 400 m² (9 microscope rooms with 19 microscope set-ups, wet lab, large cell culture room, and large computer lab for 11 high-end workstations + 8 smaller desktop computers) plus 2 rooms with 3 LSMs (35 m²) 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).