Equipment Training & Usage Rights



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.

→ Getting started ←

Facility Policies

Any damage needs to be reported via any central Imaging & Optics Facility support channels immediately – especially in case of including liquid spills


Training, as a rule, consists of two parts:

The 1st introduction is a basic training where we allow up to 1 person at the same time. When you request it, you will need to prepare for your intro according to the technique you want to use. You can find links to the reading materials that will introduce you to the basics of the system that we offer below on this page. Please do not be surprised, if during the training we will ask you some questions based on these links.

The 2nd part of the training must happen within maximum period of two weeks after the first part, for only 1 person at a time. You will need to provide your own sample and you will be asked to operate the instrument in our presence. We will help you to set up your imaging experiment and can discuss your image post-processing workflow.

During the 2nd training: we will evaluate to what extend you are able to operate the instrument. We will give you permissions to book this instrument on your own in case we feel you can work with the microscope safely and independently. Only after both training sessions are successfully completed will we grant you permission to book instruments on your own.

Novice rights: systems can be used between 8:00 and 20:00 h during weekdays. Upon succesful completion of a training novice rights are provided to new users. 

Autonomous rights: systems can be used independently during all available time (24/7). A total of five independent session without significant issues or warnings/penalty points during the nove right period need to be completed before we promote usage rights to autonomous.

Please understand that if we have the feeling that you are not very secure with the instrument, we might ask you to repeat the training session, or prolong novice right period.

Usage-rights expiration: after prolonged ‘no use’ (9 months – 1 year): a refresher training will be required to regain user rights.


We can introduce external guests, visiting scientists & interns for 2 systems max (minimal required stay = 2 months). Please inform us at least 2 weeks in advance, so we can organize your training timely. You will need to provide a cost account with approval from your PI and the name of one group member of the visiting lab, who will be your internal contact person.


In order to improve impact of training that are given by Imaging and Optics Facility team members, we kindly ask you to study materials listed below, before the scheduled introduction takes place. Imaging and Optics Facility staff will ask you questions based on these materials and will only start training if these questions are answered adequately.

Additionally, for the following groups of devices, materials listed below have to be reviewed and understood:

Confocal microscopes

Confocal microscopes (Leica Stellaris 5, Leica SP8, Zeiss LSM800, LSM880, LSM900):

Multi-photon microscopes

Spinning Disc Confocal Microscopes

Andor SD laser cutter, Andor Dragonffy 505;  iMIC spinning disc; Nikon CSU-W1-01/02/03;

Wide Field Microscopes

Widefield (Nikon Eclipse, Visitron TIRF, Olympus widefield)

Light sheet

Ligh-sheet / Selected plane Ilumination Micrscope (Zeiss Lightsheet 7)

Flow cytometers / FACS

Flow cytometers (BD FACS Canto II and FACS Aria III)