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Providing researchers with a broad range of imaging techniques, analysis software and service options to assist with their research.

Bifocal miscroscope

Microscopy, in its many forms, is one of the Garvan Institute’s major capabilities. The Institute has a dedicated Microscopy Facility, located in a custom-built space at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre. Garvan and Kinghorn’s range of microscopes provides researchers and visiting scientists with easy access to a huge variety of state-of-the-art imaging techniques for single-molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, intravital and whole animal imaging. Our technology is also available for use by Precinct and external researchers.


Our principal microscopes include:

  • Leica DM 6000 Power Mosaic: Advanced transmitted light and widefield fluorescence microscope with high-speed stepping stage and focus, for fast scanning and mosaic image acquisition
  • Leica DMI 6000: Advanced widefield fluorescence microscope for live cells, also with lasers for total internal reflection fluorescence imaging and autofocus
  • Leica DMI 6000 SP8: Advanced laser scanning confocal microscope
  • Leica DMI 6000 SP8 SMD MP: Advanced confocal and multiphoton fluorescence microscope for live cells and tissues with high speed (12 K) resonant and field-of-view scanners, and equipment for fluorescence lifetime imaging.

These – and a number of our other instruments – are capable of imaging tissue, cells or intracellular organelles and molecules using a variety of transmitted light (brightfield, phase contrast, interference contrast) and fluorescence-based techniques, such as epifluorescence, laser scanning confocal and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM, or ‘evanescent wave microscopy’).

Two of our microscopes are permanently set up with incubation equipment, to allow live cell time-lapse microscopy for short- (hours) or long- (days) term experiments using any of our available imaging techniques, even at high speeds.

In addition, we have equipment to perform experiments using techniques such as Förster resonant energy transfer (FRET), fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), colocalisation analysis by either confocal, fluorescence or TIRF microscopy.

Multiphoton microscopy

A number of these microscopes are also equipped with multiphoton lasers to enable multiphoton imaging approaches including deep tissue imaging, intravital imaging, second harmonic imaging (SHG), fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) and measurement of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) using time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC).

High-content imaging

Essen IncuCyte Zoom

The IncuCyte brings together an efficient and thorough set of solutions for long-term, live-cell imaging. This imaging method allows researchers to expand the ways they document and understand cellular growth, behaviour and morphology. In addition to this, it provides an effective kinetic read-out solution for the next generation of in vitro biological assays.

Thermo ArrayScan VTI

We have access to a Thermo ArrayScan VTI high-content microscopic imager, equipped with a CatalystXpress Robot accessing a plate hotel and an automated Cytomat (CO2 incubator). High-content imaging uses fluorescence-based reagents, advanced optical imaging instrumentation and sophisticated image analysis software, to quantitatively analyse physiological processes in cells. A range of real-time and end-point assays are feasible, including cell number, proliferation, apoptosis, cell size, shape and viability measures, cell migration and invasion.

For information about booking this imager, please contact us.

Slide Scanner

Our Hammamatsu NanoZoomer S210 is a high-throughput scanner for histology slides. It rapidly scans glass slides and converts them to digital data. Delivering high-definition image quality, this scanner is capable of handling a large number of slides. It was obtained by Garvan using funds from the Australian Pancreatic Genome Initiative.

Intravital imaging

Garvan has four instruments for intravital imaging as part of the ACRF INCITe Centre:

  • Zeiss 7MP two-photon microscope: Dedicated two-photon microscope for deep tissue intravital microscopy.
  • Leica DMI 6000 SP8 SMD MP OPO intravital: Advanced multiphoton microscope for deep tissue imaging capable of simultaneous excitation using two MP laser lines and fluorescence lifetime imaging.
  • Leica Stellaris DIVE (deep in vivo explorer) with FALCON (FAstLifetime CONtrast): A spectrally tuneable multiphoton microscope with specialised optics to significantly increase the penetration depth of the imaging volume. The FALCON, a novel fluorescence lifetime acquisition module, combines TCSPC (time-correlated single photon counting) with fast data handling and analysis algorithms to achieve high acquisition speeds.
  • Olympus FVMPE-RS MP intravital: Featuring two multiphoton lasers and a custom-built Raster adaptive optics (RAO) module, this microscope is designed for deep imaging of biological specimens and opaque tissue such as intact bone.


We have electrophysiology equipment available to work with transmitted light- and fluorescence-based microscopes, as needed.

Contact us

Dr Linda Dansereau


+61 (0) 2 9355 5858