Video Microscopy (Live Cell and Time Lapse)

Location: Thomas Building, DE-512
Contact phone: (206) 667-4205
Contact e-mail:

Time lapse microscopy allows the recording of images at defined time intervals to generate movies of dynamic biological events. Available equipment includes two portable stage-top incubator systems that can be mounted on several of the resource's microscopes, for imaging live cells and tissues under controlled temperature and atmosphere. (See examples of our time lapse work below)

Equipment for time lapse microscopy and live cell imaging:

(For technical details, follow the links below to individual microscopes)

Incucyte Zoom. The Essen IncuCyte Zoom is an incubator microscope system for live cell imaging. The system is specially suited for monitoring cell lines, cell growth, transgene expression, and for assay development.

Nikon Ti Live. This live-cell imaging system is assembled around a fully automated Nikon Ti inverted microscope. Motorized stage and focus and Nikon NIS Elements software allow the acquisition of multi-dimensional experiments including multiple channels, multiple focal planes (z-stacks), and multiple locations over time. The Nikon Live is a very versatile system that can accept many types of samples, including slides, slide and coverslip chambers, dishes, plates, and more.

Ultraview spinning disk system. The Perkin Elmer Ultraview Vox is a spinnig disk confocal system for fast multi-color confocal image acquisition. It is recommended for time lapse microscopy of cells in culture and small model organisms such as fly embryos, embryonic and adult worms.

Applied Precision Deltavision microscope. The Deltavision is ideal for the acquisition of high resolution, high contrast 3-D images of fluorescent specimens that do not require a confocal (such as bacteria, yeast cells, cultured cells 1-2 cell layers thick).

Zeiss LSM 780 confocal and multi-photon microscope. The Zeiss LSM 780 NLO is a state of the art confocal and multi photon microscope. While primarily used for the acquisition of confocal optical sections of fixed specimens, the system is also very suited for live cell applications.

Our Cellomics high content analysis system is also compatible with time lapse and live cell imaging, and is suitable for kinetic high content analysis assays such as proliferation assays and cell morphogenesis.

Zeiss LSM 7 MP in vivo multi-photon microscope. This dedicated multi-photon microscope is located in, and managed by the animal facility (comparative medicine) and is primarily for the in vivo imaging of small animals. For access, please contact Comparative Medicine. Training and assistance with the microscope are provided by Scientific Imaging.

Example of time lapse microscopy from Scientific Imaging

Time lapse of HeLa cells dividing

Mitotic divisions and gastrulation in Drosophila

Scheduling time for instruments, training, and support.

To schedule time on any of our microscopes, or to schedule staff assistance or training, please use iLab. The resource is open to all from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. After hours access can be granted to experienced users and requires training by the resource's staff. Please contact Scientific Imaging for further details.

How to access your data:

Data acquired on Scientific Imaging instruments is transferred to the si folder in the user's fred account. If you do not have a fred account, please submit the computing account application form. Once you have obtained a fred account, please contact Scientific Imaging so that we can create an si link for you. External users without access to fred can obtain their data via ftp, or can download to their own data storage device from one of our dedicated computers. Please note that no portable drives are allowed on instrument computers.