Light Microscopy

Head: Christian Feldhaus
Assistants:Aurora Panzera, Sara Mendes
Phone:+49 7071 601-443


The light microscopy facility offers a variety of methods and equipment to retrieve all the visible information available from biological specimens, including animals, plants and single cells, and to uncover structures or processes. Fluorescent labeling can be used to highlight specific features of a specimen. Highly sensitive detectors are required to record the weakest fluorescence. The structure or object in question is often not easily observable in the static 2-dimensional view of a single image. Confocal microscopy is one way of viewing the 3-dimensional structure of a specimen and can be used, for example, to determine whether two proteins are found in the same place. In developmental biology, we are particularly interested in observing biological processes over time, which requires viewing the specimen, such as a cell, while it is still alive. Specialized microscopes that can acquire images rapidly and without harming the specimen are also needed. For all of these tasks, the light microscopy facility possesses suitable microscopes and offers support with planning and designing experiments involving light microscopy. The facility also provides the hardware and software tools to analyze microscopic images and visualize the obtained data.

Booking System
Terms of Use

Tasks of the facility

  • user training on facility microscopes
  • quality control and maintenance of facility instruments
  • support in sample preparation and experiment design
  • support in image analysis
  • organise access to or develop custom made imaging or image analysis solutions
  • microscopy courses

Confocal microscopes


Confocal laser scanning microscope on a fully motorised inverted stand with 6 visible laser lines. It is equipped with photomultiplier tubes for deep blue and deep red/ near infrared imaging and the very sensitive GaAsP detector based Quasar unit for normal and hyperspectral imaging in the visible range. With its pulsed and tunable infrared laser and its 2 non-descanned GaAsP detectors the microscope can also be used for 2-photon imaging.


FluoView 1200

Confocal laser scanning microscope on a fully motorised inverted stand with 2 scanheads, one for imaging and one for simultaneous sample manipulation. It is equipped with standard photomultiplier tubes as detectors as well as very sensitive GaAsP detectors. It can be used with a standard range of lasers for imaging and manipulation and has an additional pulsed UV laser for sample manipulation only.



Confocal laser scanning microscope on a fully motorised upright stand for routine work. It is equipped with 4 diode lasers and hosts 1 standard photomuliplier tube as detector as well a s 3 very sensitive hybrid detectors.


LSM 5 Live

Confocal line scanning microscope on a fully motorised inverted stand for fast confocal imaging. It has 2 CCD based detectors and 4 diode lasers.

Widefield microscopes


Upright widefield microscope with a fully motorised stand. It has a highly sensitive sCMOS camera dedicated for fluorescence imaging and a high resolution CCD colour camera. It hosts a large set of fluorescence filters and can be used for a broad range of transmitted light modalities.



Inverted widefield microscope with a fully motorised stand. It is a dedicated system for live imaging with a stage-top incubator, fast switching LED illumination for transmitted light as well as fluorescence illumination and a very fast and sensitive sCMOS camera.



Upright widefield microscope with a fully motorised stand with zoom optics. With its large field of view at a high resolution it is dedicated for large specimen. It is equipped with a highly sensitive and very fast sCMOS camera for fluorescence imaging and a high resolution CCD colour camera.

Other microscopes

We also host microscopes equipped for reflective imaging and epi-darkfield, with camera lucida, with dipping objectives, etc.. There are also 2 workstations available for image analysis and processing.

In the light microscopy courses you will get knowledge about microscopy related topics with the aim that you understand the principles behind microscopic techniques and are able

  • to plan and perform experiments and
  • to interpret and analyse your data correctly.

This will be achieved by a mixture of lectures, demos and hands-on practical sessions. However, to be able to practically work with a specific instrument you need to ask for a personal introduction/ training on that instrument.


Basic Light Microscopy

The course is an introduction to light microscopy. It covers standard transmitted light techniques like brightfield, phase contrast and DIC as well as fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Apart from that, people will be introduced to the basics of digital image acquisition and analysis. For more detailed information please click here. The course is usually held in English.


Advanced Courses

If requested, the facility can offer the following advanced courses:

  •  hyperspectral imaging
  •  2-photon microscopy
  •  image processing with ImageJ addressing specific problems and tasks

In cooperation with other groups or institutions there may be further options for course topics. Please ask if you are interested in a specific topic. In the past we organised courses for e.g FCS and FLIM. Minimum number of participants for the courses is 3, maximal 4 or 8 persons (depending on the course content) can participate. The advanced courses are usually held in English.


Master Module "Microscopic Imaging Techniques"

This module is offered as part of the Master program "Biochemistry" of the University of Tübingen. However, the course is in principle open for Master or Diploma students of the natural sciences. It covers the contents of the above mentioned "Basic Light Microscopy". Additionally, as the course is organised in cooperation with several research groups across Tübingen, students get insight and practical experience on a variety of imaging techniques available around town. The schedule changes slightly every year based on the availability of techniques and tutors. In the past we covered e.g live cell imaging, hyperspectral imaging, 2-photon imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The course is accompanied by a seminar covering advanced and recent developments in light microscopy techniques. Furthermore, students are given a small project about optical imaging, the outcome of which they need to present on the last course day. The course is held in English and usually takes place during the summer semester. Please see the "Vorlesungsverzeichnis" of the university for more info or contact Jakob Suckale at the Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry.

Free capacities on the instruments of the facility can be used by externals. For more information please get in contact with the head of the facility.