The Zeiss Axio Zoom.V16 is a sensitive and robust imaging platform optimized for observing fluorescent molecules in model organisms in vivo. For high resolution imaging applications, the V16 combines a 16x optical zoom with high numerical aperture (NA) of 0.25. In the KU MPC, this system includes a Hamamatsu Orca Flash 4.0 CMOS camera for image and video acquisition. In addition, this system is outfitted with a broad spectrum of excitation and emission filters that allow detection of virtually any fluorophore. The Zen software and automated functions allow the V16 to capture images over time or acquire time-lapse movies. These features make the V16 an ideal system for imaging of fluorescent probes and proteins in C. elegans and zebrafish.
The Lambda DG-4 light source, designed to interface with high resolution imaging platforms, offers users the ability to rapidly toggle between excitation wavelengths. The DG4 retains all the advantages of interference filter based systems, yet eliminates the temporal constraints imposed by traditional filter changing devices such as filter wheels. Operating in tandem with the Axio Zoom.V16 microscope, wavelength switching can be achieved in less than 1.2 milliseconds, allowing users to perform real-time ratiometric video imaging experiments and observe multiple fluorescent probes essentially simultaneously.
The Z-Hab ZF0601 is a self contained zebrafish ecosystem. It features precise temperature control, ultraviolet water sterilization, and timed system water exchange to maintain high water quality. The zebrafish habitat of the KU MPC is capable of housing 3000 adult fish, and many more embryos and larvae, and it's open layout allows easy access to tanks for feeding and cleaning. Specialized breeding tanks allow maximum embryo production and facilitate embryo collection. By housing a combination of 1 and 3 liter tanks, multiple independent strains of fish can be maintained in parallel without risk of cross-contamination. To prevent system failure due to evaporation or leakage, the ZF0601 includes a low water sensor designed to shut down the circulation pumps if water flow is restricted. Staff of the MPC are approved by the KU IACUC to conduct a wide range of assays in embryonic, juvenile, and adult zebrafish.
Other KU-MPC core equipment includes: A liquid nitrogen cryopreservation chamber for storing C. elegans strains and cultured cell lines, a ultra-low temperature freezer for cold storage of chemical and biological stocks, a laminar flow cell culture hood and CO2-equipped cell culture incubator, and an advanced microinjection system for delivering femtoliter doses of cultured cells, DNA, or fluorescent molecules into model organisms. The KU-MPC also has access to a nearby Leica SPE confocal laser scanning microscope and Accuri C6 flow cytometer, can work with the adjacent KU High Throughput Screening Laboratory for access to over 100,000 small molecules and detection platforms for screening, and partners with the Peterson laboratory at KU Med. Chem. to offer contract chemical synthesis of a wide variety of molecular probes and other small molecules.