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Resources & Equipment

At the Centenary Institute you will be able to access a large variety of state-of-the-art research equipment, some of which are the only machines of their kind available in the southern hemisphere.

Our multi-user facility hosts a range of machines, which includes flow and imaging cytometers, microscopes and image analysis software. We also provide theoretical and hands-on training on all our equipment tailored to your individual requirements.

Flow Cytometry

Single cell and particle analysis can be performed on our seven BD Analysers –  the 5- and 10-Laser LSR IIs,the 5 laser LSR Fortessa and the LSR Fortessa X-20, the Canto-I and -II and the FACSVerse.

These 7 machines allow you to take quantitative measurements of thousands of individual cells or particles over a relatively short period of time (over 10,000 cells / second). They are also very sensitive and allow you to pick up even smallest differences between individual cells. On our 10-Laser LSR you can even differentiate up to 20 different parameters within a single cell, which is something only very few labs in the world are able to do.

Single cell and particle sorting can be performed on our five BD Sorters – the Aria IIu, the 3-, 7- and 10-laser Influx and the 2-laser FACSJazz. These 5 machines allow you to take measurements of individual cells and then purify a population of interest for further studies. The machines can process up to 30,000 cells/sec at a theoretical purity of >99%. Cells can be selected based on 10+ parameters and up to 8 populations can be sorted at once into a variety of different vessels such as slides, plates or tubes. The advantage of cell sorting is that the cells generally remain alive throughout the procedure. That means cells can be used after sorting in a wide variety of assays including in-vivo or in-vitro live cell assays or for genomic or proteomic analysis.

The newly arrived CyTOF is a mass cytometer, which is the first instrument of its kind in Australia. While a flow cytometer uses fluorescent markers to differentiate molecules on cells, the CyTOF uses stable heavy metal isotopes, which are detected by time-of-flight atomic mass spectrometry. So instead of detecting up to 20 parameters, the CyTOF allows the identification more than 40 different parameters per cell.

Imaging Cytometry

At the Centenary Institute you have access to a range of instruments, which you can use to take images of cells or particles and then perform quantitative analysis based on those images. The idea behind Imaging Cytometry is to analyse a large amount of cells (high throughout) in a consistent and unbiased manner. Some of the machines that can be used for high throughput image aqusition include microscopes, such as the Leica SP5 confocal, the BD Pathway and the DeltaVision Deconvolution microscopes (ELITE and Personal) but also the smaller Leica DM6000B equipped with a four slide stage and Power Mosaic Imaging Software.

An alternative to conventional automated microscopy systems is the newly installed AMNIS ImageStream X Mk2. Equipped with 3 objectives and 4 lasers, this machine allows you to capture images of non-adherent cells in up to 12 channels and three different magnifications. Many hundreds (or even thousands) of cell images can be captured per second and subsequently analysed like on a standard flow cytometer.

Microscopy

Imaging systems available at the Centenary Institute include the Leica SP5 Confocal, which is constantly maintained at 37 degrees C and equipped with CO2 supply for long-term live cell imaging. The available LAS Matrix Screener software and a water immersion pump allow for high content screening even when performing long-term live cell imaging. The system is equipped with 8 laser lines and a range of high quality objectives. Our API Deconvolution systems, the Delta Vision Personal and Elite are equipped with high precision stages and high quality objectives. They can be used for the imaging of fluorescently stained cells and tissue sections and for high content live cell imaging (DV ELITE).

Other available microscopes are the Leica M205FA Fluorescent Stereo Microscope and the Leica DM6000B, which is equipped with two cameras that can be used either for white light microscopy of histological specimens but also for imaging of fluorescently stained cells or sections.

Intravital Microscopy

The most advanced microscopes available at the Centenary Institute are our three LaVision Biotech multi-photon imaging stations that can be used for deep tissue image in vitro or in vivo (i.e. intravital microscopy). These systems are the only ones in Australia that can utilise up to three different femto-second laser sources to excite fluorescent molecules at wavelengths ranging from 700 to 1300nm. This excitation range allows for deep tissue imaging while ensuring minimal tissue damage. One of these systems is even equipped with three EOMs which allow for super fast on/off laser switching which allows for advanced applications such as photo-activation experiments, thus providing extensive opportunities for tracking multiple cell types in vivo.

Software

For the analysis of flow cytometry data, we provide access to the FlowJo Single Cell Analysis Software.

Stunning pictures of cells or sections make great artwork but are only the first step when working in science. Images need to be analysed and observations quantified in order to generate meaningful outcomes. To achieve this, the Centenary Institute provides access to a wide range of Image Analysis softwares such as Volocity, Imaris, Matlab, Image J / FIJI and the Leica LAS Analysis module.

Training

Hands-on as well as theory training is provided to all Honours, Masers and PhD students by experienced facility staff for all our Flow and Imaging instruments. Your supervisor ad facility staff will help you decide which instruments will be best suited to your research. Once you know which machines you need to use, you can request training through our instrument booking system.

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