close up of microscope and researchers hand

Our Services

Tissue morphology and knowledge of the localization of specific proteins within a cell are integral to understanding cellular metabolism, the causes and consequences of diabetes, and new advances for the treatment of diabetes.

The tools of morphological analysis are varied, but most involve particular skills or equipment that are too costly to be supported in individual laboratories. The Advanced Microscopy Core provides a wide range of services covering the broad categories: performing specific morphological procedures, providing training and access to equipment, maintaining the specialized microscopes, and giving advice and interpretation.

While the plastic embedding and electron microscope work, including immunolocalization of specific molecules at the ultrastructural level, are done by the Core Manager, other equipment is available for individual use after the completion of training with the Core Manager.

  • Cryostat sectioning/use of cryostat. After training, researcher can book the cryostat for individual use.
  • Plastic embedding and sectioning for light microscope. A useful service for very small samples, such as cell pellets, transplanted islets, pituitary grafts or young mouse embryos, for light microscopic analysis. Order is made under EMNet online using the CORTEX system.

 

 

Samples analyzed on EM are first fixed, osmicated, embedded, and sectioned as above for plastic sections. Fixation procedures are discussed with the Core personnel; fixatives and their recipes are available from the core. Immunochemistry on ultrastructural level is also available. Order is made under EMNet online under Cortex.

Researchers can use independently with sign up on intranet for the Zeiss LSM710NLO. This microscope with six laser lines including two photon, three spectral detection channels allows multifluorescent spectral imaging, ion imaging, enhanced 3-D examinations, and manipulations for FRET or FRAP. Live cell imaging is possible.
 

Whereas the confocal takes two to three seconds to scan to produce an image, this camera can take 100 frames per second, allowing for tracking calcium flux with Fura 2 or rolling of white blood cells along vessel walls. Its Lambda XL Ext. Life Light Source is a good fit for both Ca++ and immunofluorescent imaging.

Arcturus Pixcell II Laser capture microscope and accessories. After being trained, researchers can book the facility for independent use.

Expert advice is provided by both the Core Manager and Core Director. ​

To learn more, email susan.bonner-weir [at] joslin.harvard.edu (Dr. Susan Bonner-Weir,) Core Director, or christopher.cahill [at] joslin.harvard.edu (Chris Cahill,) Core Manager.