Mark Sanders

University of Minnesota

RELIABILITY AND PERFORMANCE

  • What is the University Imaging Centers network and what is your position in it?
  • The University Imaging Centers (UIC) is a network of core facility locations for advanced optical imaging and basic electron microscopy located on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus. I am the UIC Program Director.
  • Reliable performance of your microscopy instrumentation must be a critical factor in the successful operation of University Imaging Centers?
  • There are several factors that keep me up at night running a facility like ours. Firstly, our equipment has to work to specification 100% of the time, in the face of constant demand. Secondly, because we are a chargeback facility, doing everything possible to keep costs low and performance optimal is critical. There is also a growing requirement to do longer-term (hours to days) live cell imaging. Minimizing the negative impacts of live cell photosensitivity is critical to our facility users.
  • How have Lumencor’s light engines helped University Imaging Centers to meet these demands?
  • The capacity to electronically select specific wavelength bands from a broad output spectrum source minimizes sample exposure to non-optimal, hazardous wavelengths. Electronic control also allows pulsed excitation, minimizing cell exposure to excitation light and slowing the rate of photobleaching. Finally, extremely long life cycles of the hardware minimize downtime and configuration/alignment issues.
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