The overarching goal of the Center for Cellular Imaging (WUCCI) is to provide reliable and affordable access to state-of-the-art cellular imaging technologies, provide professional guidance in experimental design, sample preparation and data analysis, develop and apply new imaging technologies and work collaboratively with Wash U researchers to advance our understanding of human health and disease.

Core Description

The WUCCI was established in July 2015 via collaboration between the Departments of Neuroscience and Cell Biology & Physiology as a centralized shared technology resource and development center for the Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) and broader Washington University research communities. The mission of the WUCCI is to provide an inter-disciplinary research environment to facilitate the use of multi-scale microscopy imaging technologies in biomedical research. The Center achieves this mandate through providing:

  1. Reliable and affordable access to state-of-the-art equipment for optical and charged
  2. Professional guidance in experimental design, data acquisition and data analysis and interpretation
  3. Assistance with sample preparation
  4. Training in basic and advanced imaging techniques and image analysis.

The WUCCI is housed on the ground level of the recently constructed Debra and George W. Couch III Biomedical Research Building at 4515 McKinley Avenue on the Medical School Campus. The Center occupies ~7,600 square feet and was designed by Goody Clancy, a nationally recognized laboratory design firm with experience in imaging center construction at other major universities. Key features of the space include: (i) dedicated rooms for light microscopy (3 rooms, total of 18 stations, including 3 setups on large optical tables), (ii) six dedicated rooms to accommodate six electron/ion microscopes and large purpose-designed rooms for electron microscopy prep (including a large wet laboratory area for freezing and sample preparation and a sectioning room for ultramicrotomy), (iii) a dedicated tissue culture suite, (iv) an animal holding space (for <24 hr use during imaging), (v) a 10-desk computer area for image analysis and processing, and (vi) a workshop for equipment maintenance.

Additional space provides offices for the WUCCI director and staff (technical specialists in both light and electron microscopy as well as informatics analyses), a multi-purpose room for courses, meetings, and demonstrations, and a break-room area to host users that perform long-term imaging and to encourage informal interactions during experiments.

In 2023, the WUCCI-neuro opened at The Fort Neuroscience Research Building. Designed to serve as a neurobiology-focused imaging center, the WUCCI-neuro encompasses ~2,600 square feet, and offers access to 6 optical systems (including a dedicated mutiphoton in-vivo imaging suite), 4 high end analysis workstations, a tissue culture facility, and a wet lab designed for facilitating tissue clearing.

Access to the facility is via swipe card enabling authorized fully trained users to undertake experiments 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.​


Service available to All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Priority service for Washington University only.


  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Slide scanning (both brightfield and fluorescence)
  • Confocal microscopy (both fixed and live cell)
  • Two-Photon microscopy (both ex vivo and intravital)
  • Light-sheet microscopy (cleared samples)
  • Light-sheet microscopy (live cell)
  • Lattice Lightsheet microscopy (live cell)
  • TIRF microscopy (live cell)
  • Super-resolution microscopy (both STORM and SIM)
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  • Transmission EM (TEM)
  • Scanning EM (SEM)
  • Focused Ion Beam-SEM (FIB-SEM)
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  • Single Particle Averaging (SPA)
  • Cryo-Electron Tomography (Cryo-ET)
  • Micro-Electron Diffraction (Micro-ED)
  • Cryo-Focused Ion Beam (Cryo-FIB)
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  • X-Ray Microscopy
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  • TEM Standard - Epoxy
  • TEM Standard - Acrylic
  • TEM Immuno (Pre-Embed)
  • TEM Immuno-label (Post-section)
  • TEM Tokyasu Immuno-label
  • SEM standard
  • SEM Cassette
  • FIB-SEM Standard
  • Liquid Helium Slam Freezing
  • Deep-Etch / Freeze Fracture
  • Deep-Etch / Freeze Fracture Immuno-label
  • High-Pressure Freezing
  • Freeze Substitution - Epoxy
  • Freeze Substitution - Acrylic
  • Plunge Freezing
  • Micro-ED Prep
  • XRM Standard
  • iDISCO Tissue Clearing
  • CLARITY Tissue Clearing
  • Expansion Microscopy
  • BSL-2 Tissue Culture facilities
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  • Image Analysis - Imaris 3D / 4D (7 licenses)
  • Image Analysis - Amira 3D modeling (4 licenses)
  • Image Analysis - Arivis4D modeling (2 license)
  • Image Analysis - Zeiss ZEN (5 licenses)
  • Image Analysis - NIS Elements (3 licenses)
  • Image Analysis - MBF Core Facility Suite (2 licenses)
  • Image Analysis - MATLAB (10 licenses)


  • Nikon AXR Resonant Scanning Confocal Microscope (inverted, live cell capable)
  • Nikon A1R Resonant Scanning Confocal Microscope (inverted, live cell capable)
  • Nikon A1RMP Resonant Scanning Two-Photon Microscope (upright, live animal capable)
  • Nikon Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope (inverted, live cell capable)
  • Nikon TIRF/STORM Super-resolution Microscope (inverted, live-cell capable)
  • Nikon SIM Super-resolution Microscope (inverted, live-cell capable)
  • Olympus FV1200 Confocal Microscope (upright)
  • Zeiss Axio Imager Z2 Fluorescence Microscope with ApoTome (upright)
  • Zeiss AxioZoom V16 Fluorescence Macroscope (upright)
  • Zeiss AxioScan Z1 Slide Scanner with 100-slide capacity
  • Zeiss AxioScan 7 Slide Scanner with 100-slide capacity
  • Zeiss Celldiscoverer 7 with LSM 900 Confocal Microscope
  • Zeiss LSM 880 Airyscan FAST Confocal Microscope (inverted, live cell capable)
  • Zeiss LSM 880 Airyscan FAST Two-photon Microscope (inverted, live cell capable)
  • Zeiss LSM 980 Airyscan 2 Confocal Microscope (inverted, live cell capable)
  • Zeiss Lightsheet 7 (live cell capable)
  • Zeiss Lattice Lightsheet 7 (live cell capable)
  • Bruker 2p Plus multiphoton microscope (upright, live animal capable)
  • Miltenyi Ultra Microscope Blaze Lightsheet 
  • Nikon AXR with NSPARC Scanning Confocal Microscope (inverted, live cell capable)
  • Nikon CSU W1 SoRa Spinning Disk Confocal Microscope (inverted, live cell capable)
  • Zeiss Axio Imager Z2 Fluorescence Microscope with ApoTome 2 (upright)
  • Zeiss LSM 980 Airyscan 2 Confocal Microscope (upright)
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  • JEOL JEM 1400 PLUS TTEM with AMT NanoSprint15-Mk II sCMOS Camera
  • Zeiss Merlin FE-SEM
  • ThermoFisher Scientific Helios 5UX FIB-SEM
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  • ThermoFisher Scientific Titan Krios G3 300kV Cryo-EM with Falcon 4 and Bioquantum Gatan K2 Summit Direct Detectors
  • ThermoFisher Scientific Glacios 200kV Cryo-EM with Falcon 4 and Gatan K3 Direct Detectors
  • ThermoFisher Scientific Aquilos 2 Cryo-FIB-SEM
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  • Zeiss Xradia Versa 520 XRM
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  • 2 x 4 foot Biological Safety Cabinets
  • 2 x HeraCell incubators
  • 2 x HeraCell incubators with hypoxic O2 control
  • Leica UC7 ultramicrotome
  • Leica UC7 ultramicrotome inc. FC7 cryo attachment
  • Leica CPD300 Critical Point Drier
  • Leica ACE600 Sputter Coater / Carbon Evaporator
  • Leica ACE900 Freeze Fracture Machine
  • Leica ICE High Pressure Freezer including light stimulation
  • Leica AFS2 Free Substitution Unit including FSP robot
  • Leica KMR Glass Knife-maker
  • Home-built slam freezing machine
  • Balzer BAF400 Freeze Fracture Machine
  • 2 x ThermoFisher Scientific Vitrobot Plunge Freezers
  • Refrigerators (-4C)
  • Freezers (-20C and -80C)
  • Centrifuges
  • MilliQ water supply
  • Precision Balances
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  • 1 x HP Z820 High-Data Workstation
  • 5 x HP Z840 High-End Data Workstations
  • 1 x Dell Precision 7910 High-End Data Workstation
  • 6 x Dell Precision 7920 High-End Data Workstations
  • 2 x SuperMicro Data Workstation


Please contact this core directly for pricing information.

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