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NRI-MCDB Microscopy Facility

Founded in 1990, is jointly maintained by the Neuroscience Research 
Institute and the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental 
Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Facility’s 
mission is to promote and facilitate research necessitating microscopy. 
To achieve this mission the Facility houses state-of-the-art 
instruments, supports expert full-time support staff and provides 
individual, course and workshop based training in microscopy.


  1. Hercules Computer Workstation »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    This computer workstation runs current Imaris software with the Imaris Measurement Pro, Filament Tracer, Cell, Colocalization, Track, Vanage and XT modules. The computer also maintains MATLAB, Imago, Fiji (ImageJ) and Zen and Olympus Fluoview offline software. The compute workstation supports offline imaging processing for the Olympus Fluoview 1000 Spectral Confocal and other analysis needs as time allows.

  2. Inverted Compound Microscope, Olympus IX70 »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    This Olympus inverted Compound Microscope is equipped with long working distance objectives, phase optics, fluorescence and an Evolution ™ QEi Camera. The system is most typically used for imaging cell culture plates.

  3. Leica Cryostat »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    This Leica Cryostat CM1850 is designed to cut thin sections (5-50 microns) of frozen material. The system is routinely cooled to -20 ºC.

  4. Lightsheet Microscope »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    This lightsheet microscope is fully equipped and can be used for fast imaging of samples with a lot of 3-dimensional depth. Most commonly used for imaging embryo development, and other multicellular organisms live or fixed.

  5. Olympus BX51 Polarizing Stage Upright Compound Microscope »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    This upright BX51 compound microscope is equipped with a circular polarizing stage, DIC optics and fluorescence. The camera systems are changed depending on application.

  6. Olympus Fluoview 1000MPE 2-photon & Confocal Microscope »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry
    An upright microscope with 3 visible confocal laser lines, a Mai Tai pulsed two-photon femtosecond laser for 2-photon imaging and a scanning X, Y stage in addition to the standard motorized Z stage.
  7. Polarizing Stage Upright Compound Microscope, Olympus BX51 »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    An upright microscope with DIC optics, an alternate high NA darkfield, fluorescence and QImaging Retiga-2000R Fast 1394 Mono camera and RGB Color Filter module for color imaging. This microscope is equipped with a 4, 10, 20, 40X dry objectives and a 100X oil immersion objective with Iris.

  8. Resonant Scanning Confocal »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    The new fast resonant scanning Leica SP8 confocal microscope is a high-tech powerhouse. The resonant scanning unit allows confocal images at 28 frames per second full-frame, and faster for smaller images. It is equipped with a cryo-incubator stage allowing stable temperature control from -2°C to 50°C enabling live real-time long time-lapse imaging. The HyD detectors have increased sensitivity and a special cooled HyD detector enables FCS (Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy) experiments.

  9. Spectral Confocal Microscope »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    This system is an inverted Olympus IX81 confocal microscope equipped with 6 laser lines for excitation, spectral detectors and environmental control.

  10. Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    Olympus DSU (Spinning Disk) Confocal with environmental control chamber and Hamamatsu ImaEM CCD camera (C9100-13). The DSU in this facility is on an inverted microscope base with a manual X, Y stage. The system is configured with phase optics and mercury arc lamp illumination. The microscope has a Sedat Quat Filter Set (Chroma 8900) and a Semrock Pinkle Filter Set (CFP/YFP/HcRed-3X-A-00). MetaMorph software controls the camera and microscope allowing for long-term imaging. The microscope is enclosed to allow warming to 37°C and has humidified 5% CO2 available.

  11. Steromicroscope (camera available) »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    The Olympus SZX12 stereomicroscope is used for tissue preparation and documentation of samples at lower magnifications. The microscope has a transmitted base and reflected light illumination options.

  12. Transmission Electron Microscope, JEOL 1230 »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    The JEOL JEM-1230 is a high performance, high contrast, 40-120kV transmission electron microscope with excellent imaging capabilities suitable for biological and materials science applications.

  13. Upright Compound Microscope, Olympus BX60 »
    Campus Gov't/Academic Industry

    The Olympus BX60 Microscope an Upright Compound Microscope with DIC optics, fluorescence and Optronics color camera. This microscope is equipped with a 4, 10, 20 & 40X dry objectives and a 100X oil objective.