Most research project at the National Centre for Biological Studies (NCBS) rely heavily on the latest methods in bio-imaging and flow cytometry. The Central Imaging and Flow Cytometry Facility (CIFF), with its state-of-the-art equipment, has been set up to meet these needs. Twenty five high-end microscopes and flow cytometers are installed. CIFF is used by researchers from all over India and abroad. CIFF is an operator-free facility and offers regular training for new users and it has over 450 well-trained internal users. We train approximately 120 internal and 100 external students every year through various imaging and flow cytometry courses/workshops organized at NCBS. CIFF is used for about eighteen thousand hours an year. The open access system at CIFF coupled with its strong training programs has attracted several reputed manufactures of high-end microscopes and flow cytometers to station their systems at CIFF to demonstrate the versatility and performance of the instruments to potential buyers, while they serve the needs of NCBS. The mandate of the CIFF’s R&D centre is to establish infrastructure and develop human resource in electrical, optical and software engineering and to carry out R&D activities in biomedical related optical instrumentation and software. In 2009, CIFF started the Bangalore Microscopy Course, which is the only international microscopy course offered in Asia every year. The new students may apply for training throughout the year.
CIFF has fifteen confocal microscopes of various configurations and imaging capabilities. Point/Line scanning confocals are equipped with single/multiphoton lasers, FRET (homo and hetero), FRAP, FLIM, FCS and Anisotropy modules. STED, SIM/STORM, Seven Laser TIRF, Laser dissection, AFM, NSOM and dual excitation scopes are also available. We have developed anisotropy module on a point as well as on a line scanning confocal microscope in collaboration with Carl ZEISS. Similar anisotropy module was developed using two-camera system on a spinning disc confocal microscope in collaboration with Andor Technologies.
CIFF is equipped with ten flow cytometers. Six of them are analyzers and four are sorters. The analyzers are equipped with multiple lasers and some of the systems have IVD approval for clinical diagnostics and CIFF offers regular training on basic and clinical cytometry. The flow sorters are equipped with four/five lasers and they mainly used for sorting cells as well as organelles.
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Aspects related to user access
Core facility management
Hands-on Confocal Microscopy and Flow Cytometry
Bangalore Microscopy Course
Other regular seminars/lectures