Apart from the SILS research groups that are dedicated to their own research, SILS contains several expertise centres that contribute to the research in- and outside of SILS with valuable technological expertise.
van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy (LCAM)
Director Prof. Dorus Gadella and operational manager dr Mark Hink
The goal of the van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy-FNWI is to boost Life Sciences research using (optical) microscopy techniques. This expertise centre facilitates molecular cellular studies by providing support in translating biological questions into microscopy approaches and by providing state-of-the-art microscopy (training) infrastructure for researchers. Because of the integrated expertise and advanced instrumentation, the centre has triggered significant collaborative research projects both within and outside SILS.
Most prominent activities within LCAM-FNWI are within the domain of functional imaging microscopy: FRET, FLIM, FC(C)S, PCH, FRAP and dynamic multiparameter imaging including spinning disk, (spectral) confocal and multichannel widefield (ratio) imaging with the connected digital image processing and analysis.
LCAM is a collaboration between the faculty of science (LCAM-FNWI) of the UvA, the Academic Medical Center-Amsterdam (LCAM-AMC) and the Netherlands Cancer Institute (LCAM-NKI). Recently LCAM has become a Euro-BioImaging flagship centre for functional imaging and high content microscopy.
Micro Array Department
Project manager Dr Timo Breit
The MAD: Dutch Genomics Service & Support Provider (previously known as MicroArray Department; www.dutchgenomics.nl). The MAD is the genomics and transcriptomics expertise center of the University of Amsterdam. We perform omics (microarray & next-generation sequencing) technology research as well as operate as worldwide transcriptomics service provider and support partner for academic and industrial research & development projects. For this we have a multidisciplinary team of about 17 experts in the fields of: Biology, Bioinformatics, Applied Statistics, Informatics, and e-Science.
Development of Super-Resolution Microscopy
Dr Erik Manders
The resolution of a light microscope is limited by the wavelength of light. This resolution limit is typically around 250 nm. With new super-resolution techniques it is possible to push this limit down to 30-50 nm, however, only for cells that are fixed (and therefore dead). In our group, we focus on the development of super-resolution technology that can be used for live-cell imaging. For these live-cell super-resolution techniques we aim at resolution in the range of 100-170 nm.
Re-scan Confocal Microscopy (RCM) is a new super-resolution technique that we have developed. It is based on standard confocal microscopy extended with an optical unit that projects the image on a camera. This new microscope has improved resolution (170 nm) and strongly improved sensitivity while maintaining the sectioning capability of a standard confocal microscope. This simple technology is typically useful for biological applications where the combination of high resolution and high sensitivity is required. THis activity has produced the SILS spin-off company Confocal.nl
For the second technique that we are developing, Multi-spot Structured Illumination Microscopy (MSIM), we project a special pattern of spots onto the sample. Since this spot-pattern interferes with microscopic structures in the cell, the image contains super-resolution information. With clever software this SR-information can be extracted and visualized. With the latter technology we obtain a resolution better than 120 nm.
Together with biologists within and outside SILS, we apply our new techniques in biomedical sciences. Moreover, within the Nikon Centre of Excellence on Super-Resolution Microscopy we aim to transfer our knowledge towards the industry.