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Tissue Culture Suite
Apotome system

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WaveFX Spinning Disk Confocal

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Zeiss AxioObserver Widefield
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Zeiss LSM880 Confocal
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How to get started at the AOMF


Comprehensive Course on Fluorescence Microscopy

AOMF - Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower (PMCRT)

The PMCRT in the MaRS Center is home to the largest and most comprehensive AOMF site. In addition to widefield and confocal microscopes, this site houses most of the AOMF's specialty equipment such as the slide scanners, STED Super-resolution, FLIM, Raman, laser-microdissection, FISH, and more.

Here's a quick virtual tour:
  • For tissue sections, a convenient drop box gives researchers easy access to our Aperio AT2 (brightfield) and Zeiss Axioscan (fluorescence) slide scanners.
  • The Zeiss LSM700 and Leica SP8 confocal microscopes are both excellent 4-channel confocal microscopes for fixed slides and tissues. New users may prefer the newer Leica SP8, which has 3 high-sensitivity HyD detectors (in addition to 2 regular PMT detectors).
  • The Zeiss LSM710 Two-Photon microscope is specially configured for intravital imaging. It has a full set of regular confocal lasers and detectors, as well as a Coherent Discovery femtosecond laser and Non-Descanned detectors for efficient two-photon collection.
  • Our new Leica STED microscope is much more than just a confocal! In addition to normal confocal acquisition, the STED feature gives Super-Resolution down to 70nm or better. The White Light Laser can excite fluorescence at any wavelength, and the resonant scanner enables fast acquisition up to 30fps. This instrument also has two FLIM detectors for lifetime imaging, which can be a sensitive way of detecting FRET.
  • Our motorized Zeiss AxioObserver (inverted) and Zeiss AxioImager (upright) widefield microscopes are excellent for fluorescence imaging when confocal is not required, or for checking your fluorescence labeling. The AxioObserver has a stage-top incubator for live-cell timelapse imaging.
  • The Zeiss AxioZoom macroscope has a large field-of-view for gross sections or whole-organ fluorescence or brightfield imaging. The Leica Stereomicroscope is also for large samples - it has a colour camera for brightfield stained samples so it is not as good as the AxioZoom for fluorescence.
  • The Renishaw Raman instrument, mounted on an inverted Leica fluorescence microscope, lets you capture Raman spectra at well-defined microscopic locations in your specimen. The motorized stage facilitates Raman imaging or "mapping".
  • With the MMI Laser-microdissection system, you can visualize a tissue sample with brightfield or fluorescence, trace out your cells of interest, and extract them into a cap for DNA or RNA analysis.
  • A cell-culture suite supports live-cell studies.
  • Our three image analysis stations give you access to a wide range of advanced image analysis suites, including the latest version of Imaris for 3D rendering and analysis; and Halo by Indica Labs for whole-slide analysis of scanned slides (including pattern recognition).

Judy Cathcart Miria Bartolini

Judy Cathcart and Miria Bartolini spend most of their time at our PMCRT site. Please contact Judy or Miria for a free tour and consultation, to book trainings or support sessions, or to report problems with the microscopes.

Kevin Conway shares his time between the WCIF and PMCRT. James Jonkman is the general manager of the AOMF - although James has his office in PMCRT, he doesn't often find time for good ol' training sessions these days!

Kevin Conway, Ph.D. James Jonkman

Finding the AOMF's PMCRT site
The MaRS Centre is on the south side of College St., between University Avenue and Elizabeth Street. You can find the PMCRT elevators near the Elizabeth St. entrance and Mercatto restaurant. Take the elevators to the 15th floor where you should find the doors to the floor unlocked (during business hours only). Turn to your right, immediately right again, then left into the office area (follow signs for AOMF staff). Miria, Judy, and Kevin have their desks just inside this office area, and James's office is the first on the right.

Mailing Address and Phone Numbers:
Advanced Optical Microscopy Facility (AOMF)
University Health Network
PMCRT, 101 College St., 15th floor, Room 15-305
Toronto, ON, CANADA, M5G 1L7
Office: 416-581-8594
Lab: 416-634-8760

Check out what our other sites have to offer:
- Toronto General Hospital (TGH)
- Princess Margaret (PM)
- Wright Cell Imaging Facility (WCIF)

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