Microscopy > Confocal Microscopy


Information on how to use these systems is available at the free training seminar given once per month. Attendance is mandatory prior to beginning one-on-one training and there are no exceptions so please plan accordingly. Sign up for the training seminar using the CONTACT link at the top of the page and include the phrase "Confocal Training Seminar", in the comments box. Your registration is complete and you will not receive a confirmation email. This seminar is followed by hands-on, individual instruction. 


The cost of confocal use is $30.00 per hour during the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and $25.00 per hour outside of these hours. Instrument rates and technical assistance fees apply during individual instruction. Technical assistance rates of $35.00 per hour may also be charged if significant assistance is required beyond initial training. Additional information can be found on our rates page and on our policies and procedures page.


We have two confocal systems available for independent use:

The Olympus FV 1000 Filter Confocal system offers routine confocal microscopy of fixed tissue sections and cultured cells. It is equipped with four lasers, four fluorescence detectors and several high N.A. and short working distance objectives. For detailed technical information regarding this system refer to this PDF.

The Olympus FV 1000 Spectral Confocal system has similar capabilities to the Filter system. However, this system also offers spectral capabilities that enable researchers to examine unique fluorophores and, at the same time, reduce or eliminate autofluorescence. For detailed technical information regarding this system refer to this PDF.

Confocal laser scanning microscopy permits high resolution optical sectioning without compromising specimen integrity. Some advantages of using confocal microscopy include:

  • Elimination of out of focus light, yielding sharper images than conventional fluorescence (widefield) microscopy.
  • Analysis of thick specimens.
  • Computer controlled microscopy, permitting fine focus control and digitization of images.
  • Collection of data sets for subsequent three dimensional reconstruction.
  • Ability to collect several images at the same time from specimens labelled with multiple fluorochromes.
  • Improved detection of protein colocalization over conventional widefield microscopy.

Sample Images:

Cells in culture - Z projection of image stack

Cells in culture - Skin section Z projection of image stack

Cells in culture - 4 color imaging

Orthagonal view of pollen

Fluorescence overlay with DIC

DIC image of tissue sample

Sample Videos: