Molecular & Cellular Microscopy

Molecular and Cellular Microscopy Platform

Leaders

Naguib Mechawar, PhD, 
Dominique Walker, PhD and
Sylvain Williams, PhD

The Molecular and Cellular Microscopy Platform (MCMP) is a new advanced optical microscopy core facility offering access to the latest fluorescence microscopy techniques for neuroscience research. The facility is an Olympus Center of Excellence in Microscopy, born from a partnership between the research center and Olympus Canada Inc. This allows the MCMP to offer the latest microscopes and techniques at competitive rates compared with other core facilities.

The goal of the facility is to help students and researchers alike to plan, design, perform and analyze fluorescence microscopy experiments. The Molecular and Cellular Microscopy Platform offers one-on-one support and training for fluorescence microscopy experiments and image analysis. The facility is qualified in a range of imaging tasks from basic neuron reconstruction to high-speed, deep-tissue optogenetic experiments in brain slices or live animals.

Our systems include several wide-field microscopes with MicroBrightField software analysis systems, a brand-new Olympus FV1200 upright confocal microscope, a high-throughput VS120 slide scanner and an ArcturusXT laser capture microdissection system.

The facility also features a state-of-the-art FLUOVIEW FVMPE-RS advanced multi-photon microscope. This unique microscope was custom-built by Olympus specifically for the Douglas Platform to address the needs of our researchers in neuroscience. It’s designed for high-speed, millisecond imaging in deep tissue for experiments such as live-animal calcium imaging and neuronal stimulation with optical fibers. This system comprises two separate microscopes that share a single InSight DeepSee pulsed IR laser: one microscope designed for live animal imaging and the other tailored for the use of a combination of optogenetics and electrophysiology in live brain slices. In addition, the system is equipped with a second laser and a dedicated SIM scanner that allows light stimulation even during high-speed imaging. Finally, a pair of objectives optimized for extremely deep imaging of clarified specimen (CLARITY), up to 8mm below the surface, completes this multi-functional system.