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The Department of Biology has the following microscopy systems available for faculty and student research in the Vincent Science Center microscopy suite.

Olympus AX-70 

The acquisition of an Olympus AX-70 system was made possible through funding from the National Science Foundation. This research grade light microscope permits microscopy in any of the following optical modes: light, darkfield, phase contrast, Nomarski differential interference contrast (DIC), and epifluorescence employing a variety of fluorescent stains. Many of the functions of the microscope are automated to allow users to easily begin working with the system. Coupled to the basic microscopy system is a photohead assembly which permits the recording of images for record-keeping or further computerized analysis in any of several formats: 35 mm film, small and large format Polaroid film, and digital image capture using a Magnafire digital camera. Also available as part of the microscopy system is an Instec cryostage which allows the microscopic examination of specimens at sub-freezing temperatures. The entire system is mounted on a floating air table to provide an exceptionally stable platform for high magnification and/or long exposure photomicroscopy. 

Confocal System 

The facility also houses a laser scanning confocal microscope which was funded in part through a technology grant. This digital image and analysis system is composed of several components: (1) two PC-based computers, one dedicated to controlling the mechanical components of the sytem and a second Pentium-class workstation responsible for the hardware/software-controlled digital image acquisition and manipulation; (2) a specimen illumination module utilizing monochromatic laser light; (3) a detection module which is responsible for digitizing the image of the specimen; (4) a Nikon E600 microscope; and (5) an inato-vibration platform necessary for the acquisition of high resolution images.
For scheduling use or more information contact either Steve Strain; email:


 Olympus AX-70

Photo of Olympus AX-70 

 Nikon E600 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope