Optical Imaging Facility Equipment

Confocal / Multiphoton

Zeiss LSM 710 Confocal Location: STRF 252

All current and new users are required to read and acknowledge the new Laser Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).  Zeiss LSM 710 Laser SOP

This confocal is equipped with an Axioimager Z1 upright microscope, three spectral channels offering flexible optical configuration, motorized stage for tiling, FRET, FRAP, and physiological software module. This confocal is ideal for 3-dimensional imaging of fixed tissue slices and cultured cells.

  • 10X 0.3 NA (Plan-Neofluoar)
  • 20X 0.8 NA (Plan-Apo Chromat)
  • 40X NA 1.3 Oil DIC (Plan-Neofluoar)
  • 60X NA 1.4 Oil DIC (Plan-Apochromat)
  • 100X NA 1.4 Oil (Plan-Apochromat)
  • Violet diode (405 nm)
  • Argon (458, 488, and 515nm)
  • Laser diode 561 nm
  • HeNe 594 nm
  • HeNe 633 nm
Olympus FV1000 Confocal/Multiphoton Location: Dental Building 2.518U

All current and new users are required to read and acknowledge the new Laser Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).  Olympus FV1000 Laser SOP

This confocal and multiphoton system is equipped with an Olympus IX 81 inverted microscope, three internal channels for confocal, including two spectral channels for flexible optical configurations, and three external non-descanned channels for multiphoton imaging. This system is ideal for 3-dimentioanl imaging of fixed cultured cells, tissue slices as well as in vivo imaging. Multiphoton enhances depth of penetration and contrast for imaging of thick specimens. LSM Technology objective inverter device is available for converting this inverted microscope to an upright style for conducting intravital microscopy.

  • 10X 0.40 NA (UPlanSApo, DIC)
  • 20X 0.75 NA (UPlanApo, DIC)
  • 25X 1.05 NA (XLPlan N, Water) – Available upon special request
  • 40X 0.60 NA (LUCPlanFLN, DIC)
  • 40X 1.30 NA (UPlanFLN, Oil, DIC)
  • 40X 1.00 NA (UPlanApoN, Oil, DIC)
  • 60X 1.42 NA (PlanApoN, Oil, DIC)
  • 60X 1.10 NA (LUMFI, Water) – Available upon request
  • Violet diode (405nm)
  • Argon (458nm, 488nm, 515nm)
  • Green HeNe (543nm)
  • Red Diode (635nm)
  • Chameleon Ti:Sapphire tunable laser, 715 – 900nm
Nikon Swept Field Confocal Microscope Location: STRF 252

All current and new users are required to read and acknowledge the new Laser Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).  Nikon Sweptfield Confocal Laser SOP 

The sweptfield confocal system is equipped with a Nikon Eclipse Ti inverted microscope and a highly sensitive QuantEM camera. The scanner has 32-pinhole and slit scanning options. The live-cell imaging chamber is accessorized with a temperature controller and a CO2 regulator. The microscope system is also equipped with an anti-focus drift device, namely Perfect Focus System, which is essential to combat axial fluctuation in real time during long-term live cell imaging sessions. Its unique rapid scanning mechanism combined with a highly sensitive detector makes it a best choice for rapid live cell imaging with minimal phototoxicity. The sweptfield  confocal is capable of acquiring to up to four channels. This microscope system also has a Photometrics CoolSnap HQ2 camera, mounted on the right side port, to be used for DIC and widefield Epi-fluorescence imaging.

  • CFI Plan Apo Lambda 10X NA 0.45
  • CFI Plan APO VC 20X NA 0.75
  • CFI Plan Fluor 40X Oil NA1.30
  • CFI Plan APO VC 60X Oil NA 1.4
  • CFI Plan APO VC 100X Oil NA 1.4
  • Violet diode laser 405 nm
  • Blue diode laser 488 nm
  • Green diode laser 561 nm
  • Red diode laser 640 nm
Prairie Confocal/Multiphoton System Location: STRF 252

All current and new users are required to read and acknowledge the new Laser Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).  Prairie Confocal/Multiphoton Laser SOP

This laser scanning confocal and multiphoton imaging system is mounted on a Nikon FN1 upright microscope. There are three internal detectors for confocal imaging and three external non-descanned detectors for multiphoton imaging. The system is equipped with five visible lasers for confocal imaging and a Coherent Chameleon Ultra II broad range tunable femtosecond Ti:Sapphire laser for multiphoton imaging. The system also includes a high performance motorized Prior Zdeck stage platform with holes for accessory mounting. The height of the stage platform is adjustable, providing flexibility for setting up experiments requiring various accessories. The upright configuration along with a Nikon 25X long working distance and high resolution water dipping/immersion objective makes it a powerful imaging system for intravital microscopy.

  • 25X APO WI NA 1.10 (high NA and LWD)
  • 20X XLUMPlanFl NA 0.95 W (Olympus)
  • Violet diode laser 405 nm
  • Blue diode laser 488 nm
  • Green diode laser 542 nm
  • Green diode laser 561 nm
  • Red diode laser 640 nm
  • Coherent Chameleon Ultra II tunable range 680-1080 nm
Light Sheet

Zeiss Lightsheet 7 Microscope Location: Dental Building 2.664U

All current and new users are required to read and acknowledge the new Laser Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).   Zeiss Lightsheet 7 Laser SOP

Acquired with funding from NIH Shared instrumentation grant, this light sheet microscope is fully loaded with comprehensive features for rapid three dimensional imaging of transparent live organisms and optically cleared tissues up to 20 mm, at refractive index between 1.33-1.58. The illumination is delivered by dual opposing illumination objectives. Fluorescence signal is imaged by a detection objective in a perpendicular direction to the illumination beam. Illumination objectives are equipped with an adjustable focusing collar to compensate focal shift due to refractive mismatch to ensure the waist of the illumination light sheet is centered in the geometry of the sample chamber. The thin horizontal illumination sheet is scanned vertically to generate homogeneous illumination across the specimen.  As with illumination objectives, the detective objectives used for clearing medium are also equipped with focus adjustment to ensure in-focus signal is collected. The scanning mechanism is accompanied by pivot scan technology to eliminate the shadow effect in illumination induced by some structures in specimen to create artifacts free images. Dual cameras are available to simultaneously capture two channels, which is especially important for live specimen imaging. Specimen, loaded from the top of the chamber, can be rotated 360º automatically allowing for easy sample positioning. Black and Blue versions of Zen software are used for acquisition and analysis, respectively. The system includes two workstations, one for acquisition and one for data analysis. Acquired data can be transferred from the acquisition workstation to the offline workstation in real time during data collection.

Illumination objectives:

  • 5X/NA 0.1 foc
  • 10X/NA 0.2 foc
Detection objectives:

  • Fluar 2.5x/0.12
  • EC Plan Neofluar 5X/0.16 foc
  • Plan Neofluar 20X/1.0 foc
  • W Plan Apo10X/0.5
  • W Plan Apo 20X/1.0
  • W Plan Apo 40X/1.0

  • Solid state 405nm 20 mW
  • Solid state 488nm 50 mW
  • Solid state 561nm 50 mW
  • Solid state 638nm 75 mW
Super Resolution

Nikon N-STORM Super Resolution Microscope Location: STRF 252

All current and new users are required to read and acknowledge the new Laser Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).   Nikon N-STORM Laser SOP 

The N-STORM super resolution system is mounted on a Nikon. Eclipse Ti inverted TIRF microscope and a highly sensitive Andor iXon3 EMCCD camera for single molecule imaging. It is capable of acquiring images with 10 times higher resolution than conventional optical microscopy. This microscope is also mounted with a high resolution Nikon DS-Ri2 color camera for bright field imaging of stained histological samples. An encoded precise motorized stage on the microscope makes it possible to capture high resolution images with large field of view using tiling and stitching.

  • CFI PLAN APO 10X NA 0.45
  • CFI Plan APO 20X NA 0.75
  • CFI Super Fluor 40X Oil NA 1.3
  • CFI APO 100X Oil TIRF NA 1.49
  • Violet diode laser: 405 nm
  • Blue diode laser 488 nm
  • Green diode laser: 561 nm
  • Red fiber laser: 647 nm

Olympus IX 83 Location: STRF 252

Fully motorized inverted microscope system with ORCA-Flash 4.0 CMOS camera, Prior ProscanIII motorized stage, and LED excitation sources.


    • UPlansapo 4X NA 0.16
    • UPlan FL 10X NA 0.33
    • UCplan FL, Ph2
    • UPlansapo 60X NA 1.3 Silicone
Nikon Eclipse 2000 Location: Dental Building 2.518U

Fluorescence ratio metric imaging and DIC. Equipped with a Photometric CoolSnap HQ2 Camera
Available fluorescent filters: DAPI, FITC, Rhodamine, CY5


    • 10X 0.45 NA (PlanApo, DIC)
    • 20X 0.75 NA (PlanApo, DIC)
    • 40X 1.30 NA (S Fluor, Oil)
    • 60X (PlanApo TIRF, Oil, DIC)
Whole Animal Imaging (Bioluminescence and Fluorescence)

IVIS Spectrum in vivo imaging system Location: Dental Building 1.389U (LAR)

FiltersExcitation – 10 (415 nm -760 nm (30 nm bandwidth each))
Emission – 18 (490 nm -850 nm (20 nm bandwidth each))
Quantum Efficiency>85% 500 – 700 nm
>30% 400 – 900nm
Lensf/1 – f/8
Field of View (FOV)Minimum FOV – 3.9 x 3.9 cm
Maximum FOV – 23 x 23 cm (up to 5 mice)
Minimum Detectable Radiance70 photons/s/cm2/sr
Stage Temperature20 – 40°C
Transillumination Stage
Isoflurane Gas Anesthesiaexternal chamber, internal nose cones
DimensionsImaging Chamber Interior Size: 43Wx50Dx60H cm (17 x 20 x 24 in)
Plate reader insert
Image Analysis Workstations

Imaris Workstation 1 - Primary Location: STRF 252

Imaris Workstation 2 - Workstations Location: Dental Building 2.518U

Both of these Imaris workstations are installed with the complete package of the Imaris Program (Bitplane) for 3D image analysis. These high end workstations are equipped with multi-core processors and loaded with 128 GB memory and 6 TB SSD hard drive to facilitate rapid processing of large data sets.

Other Standalone Workstations

Nikon Elements offline workstation Location: STRF 252

Olympus cellSens workstation Location: STRF 252

IVIS Spectrum offline analysis workstation Location: Dental School Building 2.518U

Ancillary Equipment

Isofluorane anesthetizing machine
Mini-vent ventilator
Mouse Ox dosimeter
CO2 Incubator
Bioptechs stage incubator chambers
Imaging system diagnostic equipment
LSM Technologies Objective Inverters
Heater stages
Stage Incubator
Small workbench

Publication Acknowledgements:

The facility should be listed in the “Acknowledgements” section of any publication using data generated in the OIF as follows:

  • Images were generated in the Core Optical Imaging Facility which is supported by UT Health San Antonio and NIH-NCI P30 CA54174.
  • Zeiss Lightsheet 7 users need to include this additional acknowledgement: The Zeiss Lightsheet 7 microscope was funded by NIH S10 grant 1S10OD030383-01.