The Imaging Center Essen (IMCES) is an imaging service core facility of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. It was funded in 2012 within the Institute for Experimental Immunology and Imaging. The first years were designated to the installation of newly purchased light microscopy and flow cytometry equipment, mainly at the campus of the University Hospital Essen and to the establishment of important administrative work-flows. In 2016 the IMCES was complemented with new microscopes and peripheral equipment for electron microscopy. Since then the IMCES could offer its services with two powerful arms, with the Light Microscopy and FACS Unit (LMU) and with the Electron Microscopy Unit (EMU).
Today, the facility brings together modern equipment for light and electron microscopy, including fluorescence live-cell widefield microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), ligh sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM), intravital 2-photon microscopy, superresolution imaging (STED microscopy, PAL-M, SIM), FLIM, (cryo-)SEM and TEM and FIB/SEM. With this equipment correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) is a central research topic at the IMCES. Apart from microscopy systems, the IMCES provides access to small animal ultrasound, in vivo whole body imaging and flow cytometry, including cell sorting. Most of the systems are installed within areas of biosafety level 2 to allow their use also for projects dealing with a variety of infectious agents. Next to the high-level infrastructure the IMCES provides advanced knowledge in experimental design, sample preparation and image analysis to its users. These services are available for all academic researchers, irrespective of their location and affiliation.
IMCES Usage Development
In summer 2019 a total of 559 users from 132 working groups were registered with IMCES, of which 461 users from 116 working groups used the LMU service and 107 users from 58 working groups used the EMU service. In addition to many individual projects, IMCES and its services are an integral part of all major research activities on the campus of the UK Essen (a) DFG Research Training Group 1949; b) DFG Transregio Project TRR60 (expired in December 2018); c) DFG Clinical Research Unit 337, (PhenoTImE), which attracts many IMCES users.