Confocal Microscopy

Confocal microscopy is a pillar of modern cellular research, allowing a great variety of cellular imaging assays. The presence of adjustable pinholes in the optical pathway of confocal microscope allows the acquisition of fluorescent signals from a very restricted sample volume limited to a thin layer around the focal plane of the objective.  Thus, it is possible to perform fine optical cross-sectioning of the biological samples using confocal microscope.

Then 3-D reconstruction of the sample can be obtained from these optical slices (z-stack). The spatial resolution in the XY plane of our confocal microscopes is down to 200 nm while it is about 500 nm in the axial direction (along the Z-axis). The microscopes are equipped with sensitive galvano-scanners allowing fast signal acquisition from one point, line or frame with different pixel resolutions, ranging from 128 x 128 to 2048 x 2048. Crop, zoom, rotation and offset functions are available for the scanner. Each microscope has set of lasers as light sources and 4 photodetectors (photomultipliers, PMT) – one for transmitted light and three for reflected (fluorescence).

This makes possible multi-dye labeling (up to 8) of the samples. Laser beams are transmitted into the system via an acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) allowing for fast laser line switching and intensity adjustment. For the perfect dye separation multitracking algorithm, sequential scanning is available in fast (after each line) or in slow (after each frame) modes.
Specialized imaging techniques including colocalization, live cell microscopy, kinetic measurements, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), measurements of intracellular ion concentrations (e.g. pCa2+) etc. can be implemented.


The confocal microscopy unit provides access to two confocal laser scanning microscopes (LSM), Zeiss LSM 510 and Zeiss LSM 510-META, and to computer workstations with LSM Image Examiner software.  This specialized and sensitive machinery requires high levels of maintenance and proficiency of usage. Confocal microscopy users must pass a two-part course which includes theoretical and practical sections in order to be authorized for independent use of the LSM systems.


Services include acquiring images for non-authorized users and assistance with set-up and shut down of LSM systems for authorized users. Image acquisition by operators for non-authorized users is available for a hourly fee and must be coordinated in advance.

For further information including training for authorized usage, please contact:

Dr. Alex Barbul (abarbul@post.tau.ac.il)

Electron Microscopy
The electron microscope is an essential research tool for biological research projects.

Biomedical research using electron microscopical techniques requires access to a range of expensive and complicated instruments. This is equally valid for highly specialized preparation instruments as for the electron microscopes themselves. Special training, specialized sk ills and continuous supervising are necessary to optimize the use of such a laboratory.

The EM unit offers services within the domain of electron microscopy and constitutes a common resource for all scientists at the university (and outside it).

The EM unit provides education and supervision within the preparation and microscopy techniques related to biomedical research.

The staff members of the EM Unit help scientists from different fields to carry out their own research using the unit's equipment.



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