Digital Microscopy Laboratory (DML)
is a core facility on the UAMS campus that operates and maintains a
series of computer controlled light microscopes (Zeiss AxioVert 100,
AxioImager and LSM 510 confocal microscopes) and an electron microscope
(FEI F20). The Axiovert 100
and LSM 510, inverted microscope stands, are configured to support the
Live-Cell incubation system for live cell imaging under controlled CO2
and O2 conditions.
The AxioImager supports the imaging of slides under DIC or
For electron microscopy, samples may be prepared either by chemical
fixer, high-pressure freezing/freeze substitution or by automated plunge
freezing. An ultramicrotome
is available for either thin or thick sectioning or cryosectioning.
The FEI F20 electron microscope supports low dose imaging of
single protein complexes, thin section imaging, the imaging of frozen,
hydrated samples and electron tomography of thick sections.
What do we
specialize in digital imaging of a wide array of samples.
For live-cell imaging, a CO2
incubator and tissue culture hood are available within the Core.
The three light microscopes span
the range from a stand designed exclusively for imaging slides to two
more flexible inverted microscope stands. For electron microscopy,
sample preparation is key.
The high-pressure freezing/freeze substitution, plunge freezing, and
cryo-sectioning capabilities and their association with an electron
microscope configured for biological microscopy and cryo is unique
within Arkansas. The
facility provides the State of Arkansas with much-needed infrastructure
for competitive research in the biological sciences.
our technical capabilities?
both fixed and living cells is routinely supported.
The instrumentation provides a
wide range of resolution capabilities from 300 nm to less than 1 nm.
Perfusion techniques with live cells are supported.
We can generate optical sections,
multicolor 3 dimensional reconstructions and have ratio imaging, FRET
and FRAP capabilities. A 64-bit off-microscope Apple Macintosh
workstation handles large files, >4 Gigabytes, and has installed public
domain software for image processing, tomography and single molecule
addition, the installed software includes commercial deconvolution,
co-localization, and image rendering packages.
The public domain software used in the DML will run on any 64-bit
What do we
have and where are we located?
microscopes and sample preparation equipment are housed within the DML
(Rm 136-2, BioMedical II) as well as the general-purpose 64-bit
workstation computer. There
is a fume hood for handling osmium and electron microscopy fixative.
The DML does not have balances or a pH meter.
Specialized solutions for your experiments need to be prepared in
your own individual laboratories.
This is an equipment and expertise resource, not an functional
The DML supports many research microscopy needs.
However, techniques such as H&E and paraffin embedding and
sectioning are not supported.
These services are available from the Department of Pathology
Core. We presently do not
support super-resolution light microscopy, two photo fluorescence
microscopy for thick samples or general polarized light microscopy.
The use of the AxioVert 100 inverted microscope for time-lapse
experiments may occasionally result in people wishing to image
transfections for GFP/RFP expression having to wait a few hours or a day
before being able to view and photograph their sample.
Do check ahead.
We are a
research facility and support ourselves largely from user fees.
Our efforts concentrate on
projects with grant funding and/or departmental/college support.
What do I
need to make productive use of the facility?
importantly, you need to have a defined experimental question
appropriate for our instrumentation. All
use is on a fee-for-service basis.
We'll talk to you about the suitability of our instrumentation to
your problem and make recommendations if you aren't sure.
Contact Jeff Kamykowski for a
summary of fee schedules (JAKamykowski@uams.edu).
the major equipment funded?
underwent a major transformation between 1997-2011 with the funding of
equipment grants by the NIH for a Zeiss LSM 510 laser scanning confocal
microscope and by the NSF for the FEI F20 electron microscope and Leica
sample preparation equipment. UAMS
departments and the College of Medicine purchased supporting equipment.
The DML is housed in Room 136-2, BioMedical II, UAMS in recently
constructed space paid in part from gifts to the Dean of Medicine’s
Leading Donor Fund.
does using a microscope take?
This depends on the nature of the biological problem, your goals and
People can be up and going for simple light microscopy within
1-2 hours. Feeling fully comfortable with the light microscopy equipment
will require additional time to reinforce and refine your skills.
Our experience with electron microscopy is that for many purposes
learning sample preparation skills is typically more time consuming than
learning the operation of the electron microscope itself.
Fee for service support for electron microscopy is available on
Initial efforts at an equipment grant funded purchase of a
super-resolution fluorescence microscope have been started.
With time, the laser scanning confocal microscope will be
upgraded through a new equipment grant to give further high sensitivity
The electron microscope is technically capable of remote operation.
Interest and leadership by investigators within the State of Arkansas at
developing a NSF-funded practical remote operation would be a step
beneficial to colleges and universities within the State.
For more information contact:
Brian Storrie, Ph.D.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department of Physiology & Biophysics
4301 W. Markham, Slot 505
Biomedical Center II, Room 136-2
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 526-7418 (501) 526-7418 (voice)
(501) 686-8167 (fax)
Go to the DML Website.