MRC Microscopy Core Facility

The Microscopy Core Facility in the Mailman Research Center (MRC) at McLean Hospital is a shared user facility that supports basic scientific imaging research efforts both within, and external to the McLean research community. The Core offers access to a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), a newly acquired state-of-the-art confocal microscope, and a Bio-Rad S3e Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter (FACS). . The TEM (a JEOL 1200EX with acceleration voltages from 40-120 kV) is capable of magnification up to 500,000x , and spatial resolution as high as 0.34 nm. Our new confocal microscope is a Leica TCS-SP8 equipped with six laser excitation wavelengths (405/458/488/514/561/633 nm), a unique prism-based spectral dispersion system for maximizing image quality and contrast, and four detectors for simultaneous multicolor imaging of up to four immunofluorescent labels. S3e Cell Sorter (FACS) is the first truly walk-away fully automated cell sorter, ideal for counting/sorting subpopulations of cells fluorescently marked mixed in a solution.

Personnel/Contact Information:

Director: Cristina Berciu
Phone: (617) 855-2798

Facilities and Equipments:

Major Equipment:

  • JEOL JEM1200EX Transmission Electron Microscope
  • Leica Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope TCS-SP8
  • BioRad S3e Cell Sorter (FACS)


  • Transmission Electron Microscopy Service:
    • Consultation on project and sample preparation
    • Sample preparation for TEM (fixation, infiltration and embedding in resin, sectioning and staining)
    • Image acquisition and interpretation

  • Confocal Microscopy Service:
    • One-on-one training for using the confocal microscope
    • Consultation/collaboration on sample preparation, experimental design, image analysis
    • Image acquisition

  • Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) Service:
    • One-on-one training for using the FACS machine
    • Consultation on sample preparation

JEOL JEM1200EX transmission electron microscope (TEM) can be used to examine the ultrastructure of the cells and tissues at a very high resolution (<1nm), and also to localize different proteins/structures of interest using immunoelectron microscopy.

Leica SP8-TCS laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) is a high sensitivity point scanning confocal that provides very-high-quality images with fine detail and more contrast than conventional microscopy. In addition, the imaging technique allows for reconstruction of virtual 3-dimensional (3-D) images (static or time lapse) of the tissue when multiple (optical) sections are combined. Having an encoded motorized stage allows reproducible positioning of sample and automated mosaic tiling for imaging large areas without sacrificing spatial resolution. Besides, its resonant scanner for low photo-toxicity makes it ideal for live cell imaging.

S3e Cell Sorter (FACS) is the first truly walk-away fully automated cell sorter, ideal for counting/sorting subpopulations of cells fluorescently marked mixed in a solution. Real-time monitoring and smart features make cell sorting easier and accessible to both novices and experts. It is a two-way cell sorting, high speed and high purity, with 4 fluorescence detectors, and can count/sort cells with a diameter up to 30 micrometers. It also has temperature control for both sample input and sort output.

Location of Core:
Mailman Research Center, Ground Level, Rooms 029, 030 & 030A


Getting Started:

To access the core, please contact Cristina Berciu at 617-855-2798 or by email at CBERCIU@MCLEAN.HARVARD.EDU