Molecular Devices ImageXpress Micro Confocal (IXMC)

Molecular Devices ImageXpress Micro ConfocalThe MD IXMC system is a high-content solution with proprietary spinning disc confocal that can switch between widefield and confocal imaging of fixed and live cells for several days with temperature and gas control (CO2, O2, and N2). It can also capture high-quality images of whole organisms, thick tissues, 2D and 3D models, and cellular or intracellular events. The spinning disc confocal and sCMOS camera enable imaging of fast and rare events like cardiac cell beating and stem cell differentiation. With the MetaXpress software, the system enables many confocal imaging applications from 3D assay development to screening. With File Server and Database, saved images can be analyzed immediately on offline workstation while on-going image acquisition.

Acquire high-quality images

Capture excellent contrast, high-resolution images of DAPI, FITC, TRITC, TexRed, CY5 and BF with our proprietary AgileOptix™ spinning disc confocal technology, wide field of view, and bright LED excitation light source.

Customize image acquisition and analysis

Take ultimate control over acquisition and analysis parameters, which enables many applications from 3D structure analysis to targeted imaging of specific objects within an organism or cell populations.

Wide dynamic range

16-bit camera quantify low and high-intensity signals in a single image with >3 log dynamic range intensity detection.

Exclusive AgileOptix spinning disc confocal

The technology provides increased sensitivity with custom optics, high-powered, solid-state light engines, and sCMOS technology. Swappable disc geometries provide flexibility between speed and resolution.

Wide field of view

A wide field of view enables whole-well imaging and eliminates missed targets.

Accurate 3D measurements

MetaXpress 3D analysis module is optimized for confocal imaging, enabling 3D measurements of volume and distance.

Multiple imaging modes

The system offers phase contrast and brightfield label-free imaging, fluorescence, widefield, and confocal imaging.

 Analysis Workstation (High Content System Data Analysis Computer (MetaXpress Software)
  •  Analysis WorkstationStart data analysis instantly when acquired image data is saved to File Server and Database while the rest of the time-lapse imaging experiment is still going on
  • Applications modules: Angiogenesis, Cell Cycle, Count Nuclei, Live/Dead, Multi-wavelength Cell Scoring, Neurite Outgrowth, Micronuclei, Transfluor, Translocation
  • Custom Module Editor
  • Two extra similar High Content Data Analysis Licensed Workstations are located at Dry Lab Cube #19 and #13 respectively 
Olympus BX61 Fluorescence and Transmittance Wide Field Microscope

Olympus BX61 Fluorescence and Transmittance Wide Field MicroscopeThe middle room (A4-110B) houses the popular Olympus BX61 Fluorescence and Transmittance Wide Field Microscope. With Olympus cellSens image acquisition and analysis software, it is best for routine fluorescence or transmittance imaging, multi-site multi-channel automatic tile imaging with real-time stitching. The BX61 microscope and workstation feature fully automated image acquisition, powerful analysis tools, and so much more:

  • 5 Channel Fluorescence or Transmittance (Bright Field or Polarized) Imaging
  • 3D Z-stack images & Extended Focus Imaging (EFI)
  • Multi-Image Acquisition (MIA) for multi-sites or Tile Imaging with real-time stitching.
  • The workstation also be used for fast image analysis
  • Licensed software of Olympus cellSens, for original image processing, converting, and basic analysis
  • Leica LAS AF offline analysis software for analysis of Confocal images and FRAP, FRET SE, FRET AB data
  • Image-Pro Analyzer 6.2 (installable on BCCHR LAN Networked Windows OS computer upon request, shared 5 licenses), and free software of ImageJ (Fiji) with Olympus Viewer plugin for processing and converting of Olympus Visual Slide Image Formatted image (.vsi file)
Leica SP5II Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope

Leica SP5II Laser Scanning Confocal MicroscopeLeica SP5II covers a broad range of requirements in confocal imaging — with the full array of scan speeds at highest resolution.  

  • With its high-efficiency SP detection (five channels simultaneously) and AOBS (Acousto-Optical Beam Splitter), the system delivers bright, low noise images with minimal photo damage at high speed
  • The Leica HyD (hybrid detector) for confocal imaging offers unparalleled contrast for brilliant, publication-ready images. The Leica HyD sets the standard for super-sensitive imaging
  • With an auto Galvo-stage, 2D tiling and 3D stack images are automatic and precise
  • Big environmental box, heater and gas mixer provide stable temperature (up to 40 °C), CO2, and moisture for best time-lapse 4D live imaging of cell or tissue on slide, dish or plate
  • Spectral detector can do emission wavelength scan spectral imaging for spectra analysis to distinguish auto-fluorescence and staining, non-specific bonding and specific bonding, etc.
  • Special imaging methods of FRET SE, FRET AP and FRAP

 Imaging      Imaging

Leica SP5II Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope
Leica SP8 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope  

Leica SP8 Laser Scanning Confocal MicroscopeSP8 is a basic Confocal with two classic PMT detectors, filter-based beam splitter, manual stage, 3D view option.

Image Deconvolution, 3D Rendering and Analysis Workstation

Image DeconvolutionThe innermost room also houses our image analysis workstation with two licensed software, Huygens Essential for image deconvolution and 3D visualization, and Image Pro Plus 6.3 for image analysis. Free software includes Leica LAS X, Olyvia, and Fiji.

  • Restores Confocal images back to original objects through mathematical de-blurring and de-noising automatically 
  • It enhances image resolution and signal/noise ratio, and removes noise background for both stacked and/or time-lapse images
  • Deconvolution Express providing four auto deconvolution without setting up parameters in Deconvolution Wizards for each channel
  • Batch Express watches every image file just saved in a preset file folder, does automatic Deconvolution Express and export automatically to another preset file folder
  • Three options of 3D rendering for easy, efficient and realistic 3D visualization by Surface Rendering, Max Intensity Projection, and Simulated Fluorescence Projection
Huygens Essential Offline Deconvolution
Huygens Essential Offline Deconvolution


Leica SP8X STED White Laser Confocal Microscope 

(Located in room 2021, CMMT)

SP8X STED comes with White Light Laser, three HyD detectors, AOBS, and auto Galvo-stage.  It is best for super-resolution (sub-50 nm) STED Confocal imaging, complete spectral (both excitation wavelength and emission band) and light gating imaging.  SP8X has a small on-stage environmental chamber allowing temperature and flowing moisturized CO2 controls, for live cell time-lapse imaging on a slide or a dish, not on a plate. Huygens Professional online Deconvolution Software Package restores Confocal images back to original objects, for both regular Confocal and STED super-resolution images of z-stacks and/or time-lapse data using Deconvolution Wizards.

Imaris for Core Facilities

Quantitative image analysis software package on a powerful workstation (Cubicle #27 on fourth floor of TRB, BCCHR)

Imaris is the market-leading visualization and analysis software for widefield, confocal (including spinning disk), and many other modalities.  

  • Smart detection and visualisation of complex objects
  • Tracing of neurons, blood vessels and other filamentous structures
  • 3D tracking (including cell division detection)
  • Interactive plotting and batch analysis
  • 4 models (Spots, Surfaces, Cells and Filaments) to detect and analyze almost all biological samples, including cells, nuclei, nucleoli, bacteria, viruses, organs, neurons, dendritic spines, blood vessels and many more 
  • In combination alongside Imaris’ other tools to analyze dynamics of objects over time as well as their relationships with other objects in the image and to present these data in an elegant and informative fashion

Quantitative Image Analysis for 3D Microscopy

  • After detecting and segmenting the image data as objects using one of the 4 models, Imaris calculates a wide range of statistics. 
  • All values can be used for, filtering, labelling, color coding, plotted inside Imaris (using Vantage plots) or exported in a preformatted .csv or .xls file. 
  • Machine Learning Object Classification tool uses many of these values in addition to many more machine learning specific ones. 

Image Analysis for Everyone

  • Experience the simplicity of the Imaris software while using wizard-driven smart workflows and software hints. 
  • Imaris team has prepared full online introductory training: Image visualization and analysis in Imaris – Imaris Homeschool and numerous short video tutorials.
  • All users can contact image analysis and life sciences specialists from the Imaris’ Technical and Application Support Team for personalized workflows (help on specific applications) and assistance, in getting the most out of users’ images.

One floating licencing at a time

  • Any time one computer on the fourth floor with internal IP is being used, the floating licence can be used on that computer.   

Imaris Viewer – free software (Windows, Mac, Linux) opens both native microscopy files and datasets already analyzed in Imaris.


Getting Started

1. BCCHR Core Technologies and Services welcomes all new users. Please ensure to register on the Calpendo Online Booking System to create a user profile.

2. First-time users must submit billing info on a secure Grant Authorization Form to If you have any questions about this form, please speak to someone in your lab who has filled one out earlier or send your questions to

3. Once the account is approved, a user can log in and access the resource calendars to book equipment for use with assistance from a core staff. 

4. If you wish to receive training to use the equipment unassisted, you will have to complete the full training process, which includes the following steps:

  • Review and complete the Onboarding Form-Core Technologies: This form will ask you to review the links to all the necessary UBC safety training procedures and policies and safety policies for access to the BCCHR Core Technologies.  Secondly, this form will ensure that anyone interested in unassisted access to the BCCHR Core Facilities has received approval from their supervisor(s) to receive training on select equipment. We suggest you review this form with your supervisor(s) and discuss which equipment training will be of benefit to you throughout the course of your time at BCCHR so you can select the respective equipment at one time.  Once you have completed both sections of the form and it has been signed,  please send it to and the respective facility manager(s) to arrange a training session.

5. After receiving training on the equipment in the respective core, please email a completed and signed copy of the training record to and the respective facility manager. The Core Technologies team will then update the record in Calpendo, so self-serve bookings are permitted for the equipment you have been trained on.  

6. Please report any equipment failure or technical issues in Calpendo using the "Technical problem" feature integrated into the booking form. The instructions can be found here: Technical Problem Reporting Process


Emergency Contacts

Onboarding Form - Core Technologies

BCCHR Core Technologies and Services - User Expectations


Click on the button below for more information on user fees.

BCCHR Imaging Core fees