Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Amnis ImageStream S10... Keep your fingers crossed!

We submitted our Shared Instrumentation Grant for the Amnis ImageStream Analyzer on Monday, and now we wait. For those not familiar with the ImageStream, it basically works like a flow cytometer, but instead of just getting relative fluorescence intensity units of different fluorochromes, it images the cells in as many as 5 fluorescence channels as well as brightfield and darkfield. This allows you to do some pretty interesting things, like co-localization of fluorescence with subcellular structure as in Nuclear Translocation. Additionally, we've requested some optional equipment like more laser lines (405nm, 488nm, and 658nm), and an extended field of depth (EDF) optical configuration. The EDF is useful in situations where you have punctate staining patterns dispersed throughout the nucleus or cell, as in fluorescence in-situ hybridization assays (FISH) or nuclear foci counting, as in gamma H2AX staining post irradiation treatment. We feel this instrument will greatly enhance the research goals of our investigators. To illustrate this point, we supplied project descriptions from 17 Principle Investigators demonstrating exactly how they would use this instrument. The support from the faculty was really impressive. We submitted very strong projects as justification for the need for this instrument, which yields some level of confidence in actually being funded. So, wish us luck, and hopefully next spring we'll have an ImageStream on campus.