Founded in 1996, the Indiana Center for Biological Microscopy (ICBM) has grown into a vital research core facility supporting more than 100 laboratories in Indiana. Generous support from Indiana University, IU School of Medicine, the Division of Nephrology, the NIH and the Lilly Endowment have provided the center with the microscopy resources necessary to a modern approach to biomedical research. Serving as a core for several NIH Centers, the ICBM has parleyed these resources into uniquely empowering research tools. Staff provide expert support in all aspects of microscopy and image analysis, train investigators to conduct sophisticated imaging studies independently, and conduct complete studies.
COVID-19 operation and safety
In the Spring of 2020, the ICBM instituted a set of practices and policies designed to minimize the threat of COVID exposure to center users. Original policies included restrictions in hours, number of people allowed in microscope rooms and chaperoned facility access. Policies have been relaxed somewhat, but we continue to monitor all facility access, fastidiously decontaminate all contact surfaces between users and restrict microscope rooms to no more than three investigators at a time.
The ICBM has upgraded the Phenocycler (formerly CODEX) to the Phenocycler-Fusion. The Akoya Phenocycler-Fusion multiplex fluorescence imaging system is an integrated robotic fluidics and fluorescence imaging system that supports multiplexed fluorescence imaging of 40+ probes in the same sample, using a proprietary process of repeated sequential imaging and stripping of fluorescently-labeled DNA-barcode probes. This upgrade separates CODEX runs from the Keyence microscope, giving users increased access to that microscope as well. The Fusion microscope is also capable of high throughput slide scanning with filters for Brightfield and the proprietary Opal dyes between 440 nm and 780 nm.
The ICBM acquired a second high-content, high-throughput imaging system. The Molecular Devices IXM XLS microscope is a fully automated fluorescence microscope equipped with a fluidics handling system and a stage incubator for complex dynamic studies of living cells grown in a variety of different formats.
The high-multiplexing CODEX fluorescence system (for imaging up to 40 probes in a tissue at a time) is now in smooth operation. There are now 16 laboratories on campus at various stages of implementing CODEX for their research, seven have invested in developing antibody panels, and four have done 14 runs. Purchase of this system was made possible by generous contributions from the IU CTSI.
The High-End Instrumentation grant that we submitted to the NIH last spring for funds to purchase a Leica Stellaris STED super-resolution microscope scored reasonably well, well enough that we’re anticipating funding next summer. Fingers crossed.
The ICBM upgraded the Yokogawa spinning disk microscope system to a new CSUX system. Equipped with an environmental chamber, the Yokogawa system is ideal for high-speed and long-term 3D microscopy studies of living cell. The upgraded system supports even faster image acquisitions (1000 scans per second), with higher field uniformity and a more user-friendly software interface. This upgrade was made possible by generous contributions from IU School of Medicine, the Division of Nephrology, the Department of Medicine, the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases and the Department of Microbiology.
The ICBM acquired an ISS Alba Fast FLIM fluorescence lifetime imaging system, bequeathed by Richard Day upon his retirement. Based upon a confocal microscope platform and a white-light laser, the ISS system supports frequency-domain-based fluorescence lifetime imaging and fluorescence correlation microscopy.
The 2021 O’Brien Center Microscopy Workshop, held virtually over Zoom was a resounding success with more than 100 online participants throughout the four-day program. The proceedings of the meeting will be presented in a special issue of Frontiers in Physiology to be published early in 2022.
The ICBM upgraded the Imaris software to significantly extend its capabilities for three-dimensional visualization and quantitative analysis. We offer now version 9.82, Core facility package. View an overview of Imaris and its upgraded capabilities at imaris.oxinst.com. The purchase was made possible by generous contributions from the Department of Medicine, Chandan Sen, Tarek Ashkar, Bob Bacallao and Amelia Linnemann.
The ICBM purchased HALO Image Analysis Software, the software of choice for exploration and analysis of large-scale, highly multiplexed fluorescence image data, such as that produced by the Akoya CODEX system. View an overview of HALO’s capabilities at indicalab.com/halo. This purchase was made possible by generous contributions from the Department of Medicine.
Upcoming events and seminars
Series of seminars organized by the NIDDK-U24 sponsored Cooperative Centers of Excellence in Hematology. Seminars happen second Monday of a month at 11am EST.
National O'Brien Centers Kidney Seminars (NOCKS)
Monthly zoom-based seminars presented by one of the O'Brien Kidney Centers.
Investigators are awarded up to $10,000 worth of CTSI-designated core services. Request for applications is issued each spring and fall and can be found on our Indiana CTSI Grant Opportunities page.