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Welcome to the Imaging & Optics Facility

The Imaging & Optics Facility (IOF) is one of nine Scientific Service Units that supports scientists at Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA). The Imaging & Optics facility provides an state-of-the-art infrastructure for advanced (optical) imaging applications. The Imaging and Optics infrastructure (582.3 m2) is distributed over the ISTA campus, and sub-divided in 3 main service hubs across ISTA campus:

  1. Central Building & Berthalanffy Foundation building (i01/i04 – 278.5 m2)
  2. Lab Building East (i06 – 79.3 m2)
  3. Sunstone Building / Moonstone Building (i23/i24 – 224.5 m2)

Our state-of-the-art machine park consists of high-end microscope equipment, flow cytometry devices and diverse image analysis that allow scientists across disciplines .(e.g. Chemistry, Material Science, Physics and Life Science) to utilize equipment that is at the forefront of the current available technologies to perform their research.

Machine park: Our machine park consists of a wide selection of (optical) imaging platforms, such as: Widefield, Confocal, Multiphoton, Spinning disc, TIRF, Light sheet, Force probing, bioluminescence imaging, as well as Fluorescence-Assisted Cell Analyser and -Sorters, and Image analysis workstations with diverse advanced software applications. Additional accessories, optical tools and high-end objectives are available via our Automated Rental System.

Instrumentation in other SSUs: the combined machine parks of all SSUs at ISTA provide a wide variety of instrumentation & services.

Imaging applications: Our machine park offers a wide spectrum of imaging applications for materials, time-lapse recording, slide-scanning, climate control (temperature, humidity, CO2/O2), Fluorescent Life-time Imaging Microscopy (FLIM) & time-gated acquisition, Laser Assisted Microdissection & Fluorescent Recovery After Photobleach (FRAP), Multi-angle (360°) TIRF, Super resolution (Airyscan I & II, SORA, SRRF-stream, SIM, SMLM), Second Harmonics Generation Microscopy (SHG), Wavelength profiling (excitation & emission Lambda scans).

Teach and Tech: The Imaging & Optics Facility further provides trainings, courses, instrument demonstrations, workshops and is involved in outreach events. We offer advanced expertise in Fluorescence-assisted Flow-Cell Cytometry services, custom Image Analysis (deconvolution, scripting, machine learning), project based imaging automation (feedback microscopy) solutions on a broad selection of imaging platforms and custom optical development services.

Services provided by the Imaging & Optics Facility

  • User Training: basic and advanced application support for using the equipment, as well as project consulting.
  • Image analysis: user-oriented solutions for analysis and automation.
  • Quality control: maintaining state-of-the-art microscopy and flow cytometry equipment.
  • Optical development: in-house developed adaptation and customization.
  • Imaging Automation: establishment of automated acquisition and/or feedback routines.
  • Imaging Service: full Image Acquisition Slide Scanning Service

Additional info:

Information: How to start using the Imaging & Optics Facility services

To use our services, the following steps are needed: Internal users and short term visitors: please follow instructions described here: Getting Started page. External customers need to establish a cooperation contract with ISTA before services from the Imaging & Optics Facility at ISTA can be used. Please contact us in case of interest. An ‘introduction to the facility’ as well as ‘equipment training’ are obligatory prior to first use of any facility equipment. Trainings are exclusively carried out by the Imaging and Optics Facility staff.

→ Getting started ←

Information: in case you want to acknowledge us

Acknowledgment: We highly appreciate when you acknowledge the Scientific Service Units of ISTA in your publications. For your convenience, we provide an example sentence below: 

“This research was supported by the Scientific Service Units (SSU) of Institute of Science and Technology (ISTA) through resources provided by the Imaging and Optics Facility (IOF), the Life Science Facility (LSF) and the XYZ Facility (xyzF).”

Co-Authorship: If a staff member has made a significant intellectual contribution beyond routine training and application assistance, please consider co-authorship.

Many thanks in advance,

the Imaging & Optics Facility team

Writing Materials & Methods

Note: we also provide some hints for best practice for writing materials and methods sections

Information: Featured Image gallery contributions
  • Christoph Sommer (IOF, for Cremer group 2023): Machine learning based behavior annotations in ants, using SLEAP → more machine learning applications
  • Kasumi Kishi (Kicheva group, 2023): Mouse embryo; 4 channels, imaged on the Andor Dragondly 505
  • Kasumi Kishi (Kicheva group, 2023): Chick embryo; flatmount; 4 channels, imaged on the Nikon CSU-W1
  • David Babic (Friml group, 2023): Plant embryo developing in seed, imaged on the Leica SP8 DIVE CS
  • Morse and Watson (Jonas group, unpublished), overlaid with automated dendrite and spine tracing by C. Sommer
  • Yoav Ben Simon  (Jonas group): Cocktail Party and CMYK_Brainslice
  • Nathalie Agudelo Dueñas (Danzl group): The Praying Worm
  • Jonna Alanko (Sixt group): The Black Hole Sun
  • Xin Tong (Heisenberg group): 16-cell Zebrafish Image Montage
  • Philipp Velicky (Danzl group): Cells and Vessels
  • Julia M. Michalska (Danzl group): Brainbeauty (tweet)

Note: we are always happy to consider your nicest image to be placed as ‘featured image

Submit a Featured Image