The Molecular Microbiology Imaging Facility provides fluorescence, confocal, and transmission electron microscopy to all members of the Washington University community on a recharge basis. Our goal is to assist faculty, staff, and students with their research needs for imaging applications. We provide training and consultation on experimental approaches for use of our instrumentation. In addition, the Imaging Facility is available for complete processing of samples for transmission electron microscopy.

Core Description

The Microbiology Imaging Facility maintains state-of-the art instrumentation for optical imaging, including confocal, fluorescence, and transmission electron microscopy. Training for students and postdoctoral fellows to use all instrumentation is provided by a fully trained technical staff. The Imaging Facility is equipped with a Zeiss LSM880 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope with Airyscan. This system supports a variety of applications including multicolor colocalization, intensity measurements, and 3D reconstruction. The microscope is equipped with a heated stage for live analyses and can be used with approved BL-2 microorganisms. The Imaging Facility also has a Zeiss Axio Imager M2 equipped with a Hamamatsu Flash4.0 CMOS camera for fluorescence microscopy. The automated microscope interacts with ZEN software for image capture, processing, and documentation. In addition, we have a Zeiss AxioObserver inverted microscope with color camera for both histological and fluorescence imaging. The facility also maintains a Zeiss Cell Observer Spinning Disk Confocal equipped with TIRF. This system includes a CO2 chamber with temperature control for live cell imaging. Additional ZEN modules include automated multichannel acquisition, interactive measurement, automatic Z-series acquisition, and 3D deconvolution. Software is also available for quantitation, colocalization, and interactive rendering of high resolution 3D and 4D volumes using ZEN or the Volocity program from Improvision. Our facility is equipped with a JEOL 1200EX II transmission electron microscope that is available to trained users. We also provide complete processing for plastic embedding and cryo or low temperature immunoelectron microscopy, as well as image acquisition and analyses.


Service available to Washington University and other non-profit organizations.

Priority service for No distinctions.

Additional information:

Processing for transmission electron microcopy is available to researchers outside Washington University.​​​


  • Training and orientation on confocal, fluorescence, and transmission electron microscopes
  • Complete processing for plastic embedding and ultrastructural analyses by transmission electron microsopy
  • Complete processing and analysis for immunoelectron microscopy


  • Zeiss LSM880 Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope with Airyscan
  • Zeiss Axio Imager M2 Plus Wide Field Fluorescence Microscope
  • Zeiss Cell Observer inverted microscope with color camera
  • Zeiss Cell Observer Spinning Disk with TIRF
  • JEOL 1200 EX II Transmission Electron Microscope
  • LEICA Ultracut UCT7 ultramicrotome with EM FCS cryo attachment


Pricing is subject to core verification

TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY:  ImmunoEM Projects (Cryo and Low Temp Embedding) $170/sample. Processing, sectioning, immunolabeling, and staining only. Does not include EM scope time and analysis. Requires that individual investigator has appropriately screened fixation conditions and antibody concentrations.   Resin Embedded Projects $170/sample.  Processing, sectioning, and staining only. Does not include EM scope time and analysis.   Technical Support (negative staining, additional time sectioning and screening samples, etc.) $50/hr.   Electron Microscope: Sample analysis by Imaging Facility $90/hr, Independent Use $40/hr. Ultramicrotome: Independent Use $40/hr.

ZEISS LSM880 CONFOCAL LASER SCANNING MICROSCOPE WITH AIRYSCAN: Training/orientation $60/hr. Confocal microscope and computer (Independent Use) $30/hr.

ZEISS CELL OBSERVER SPINNING DISK CONFOCAL WITH TIRF: Training/orientation $60/hr. Confocal microscope and computer (Independent Use) $30/hr.

ZEISS AXIO IMAGER M2 FLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPE: Training/orientation $60/hr. Microscope and computer (Independent Use) $25/hr.

ZEISS OBSERVER FLUORESCENCE MICROSCOPE inverted with color camera: Training/orientation $60/hr. Microscope and computer (Independent Use) $25/hr.

Prices applicable to members of the Washington University community.  Others, please inquire.