The KI Core Visualization Facility at MTC (KIVIF)

The KI Visualization Facility (KIVIF) at MTC started in January 2004 and was officially inaugurated by the President of KI, Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson November 2005. The goal is to provide researchers at the Karolinska Institutet with frontline imaging technology in combination with technical support, and imaging-related expert advice within the frame of their own scientific projects.

KIVIF Policy and Price List 2015

KIVIF Policy 2015

KIVIF Price List 2015


Facility Manager


Pontus Aspenström

Phone: 08-524 871 88
Organizational unit: Pontus Aspenström group

Biomedical scientist

Katalin Benedek

Phone: 08-524 862 64
Organizational unit: Pontus Aspenström group

Leica Confocal Microscope TCS SP5

This is a continuous spectrum fluorescence microscope that covers the excitation range from 470 to 700 nanometers using a white laser illumination source. The user can freely define three simultaneous excitation wavelengths and a transmitted light capture in a single image acquisition setting. The ranges of emitted wavelengths are freely adjustable. Full lambda scanning both for excitation and emission is available. Optical sectioning and time-lapse imaging is also available along with a number of scanning modes to record low intensity fluorescence.

The recommended primary use of this system is high-resolution 3D reconstitution of cellular structures detected by multiple fluorescence labeling.

Spinning Disc Confocal Microscope

The System is based on Nipkow spinning disc technology and uses two independent optical systems connected to a motorized fluorescence microscope. It carries out repetitive multidimensional (3D, time, multiple wavelength) image acquisition over any area or volume that can be defined by an array of X, Y, Z coordinates, allowing quantitative morphometric measurements on single cell level. A set of computer algorithms have been developed, that enable the optical systems to carry out a series of tasks and measurements automatically.

Live cell and TIRF microscope

We have a Zeiss Axio Observer.Z1 microscope equipped with Laser TIRF 3. The system is ideal for live cell imaging over long time-periods. The total internal reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) technology allows visualization of structures in close proximity to the plasma membrane. The laser module is composed of no Argon laser for excitation at 458/488 and 514 nm. The system has in addition a solid state 561 nm laser.

Laser Microdissection System

This system uses a patented principle, Laser Microdissection Pressure Catapulting (LMPC) for laser based non-contact extraction of tissue areas, single cells or subcellular biological specimens. The PALM MicroBeam IV laserdissection system from Zeiss fulfills the unique combination of criteria apt to applications including:

  •        Non-contact laser microdissection and high-purity specimen capture of single cells or morphologically defined tissue areas. Quick access to thousands of cells due to, specific software and non-contact collection.
  •        Large variety of different techniques and samples can be processed i. e. frozen-sections, cell-cultures, cell smears, paraffin embedded tissue, cytocentrifuged samples, cells on filters, chromosomes, living cells, wet and dry samples. 
  •        Contamination-free microdissection of living cells, ideal for isolating cell clones.
  •        Laser-microdissection instrument with real scanning functions, gives possibility to work in a fully automated way with a large number of cells.
  •        Image processing software for fast slide scanning, automatic cell identification and subsequent computerized laser microdissection.
  •        Microdissection under fluorescent light. Freeze-mode when working with living cells - no photo bleaching.

In Vivo Imaging - IVIS Spectrum CT

In vivo imaging is a powerful technique which can be used to detect light produced by bioluminescent or fluorescent proteins in vivo. Using this non-invasive technology allows for identification of disease pathways, determination of mechanisms of action, evaluation of drug compounds and monitoring of disease progression in living animals.

The IVIS Spectrum CT system at MTC allows for visualization of bioluminescent or fluorescent proteins in up to 5 mice in vivo. If needed, the build in CT scan can image up to two mice simultaneous and provide valuable 3D information on the anatomic position of a signal.

For bioluminescence applications, cells, microbes and/or animals expressing a luciferase gene can be used. After injection of the substrate for the respective luciferase and anesthesia of the mice the emitted light can be detected in the IVIS system. No substrate is needed for detection of signal from cells, microbes and/or animals expressing a fluorescent marker. Due to tissue absorption fluorochromes that emit light of a wavelength shorter than 600 nm (like GFP) are not recommended.

With the build in CT scan bone structures can be clearly visualized. For detection of soft tissues a contrast agent needs to be administered to the mice.

Fluorescence Microscopy

Fluorescence Microscopy

At KIVIF, on the third floor of MTC B-building, we have two Leica fluorescence microscopes equipped with Hamamatsu digital cameras. Both CCD cameras are operated by the HiPic control software.

In room F415b we have a Nikon fluorescence microscope with a Hamamatsu digital camera, operated by the Wasabi control software. New users have to be introduced and approved by KIVIF staff in order to get access to the microscopes. The users are advised to export their images to their own computers via Transfer on the file server or by memory sticks


When you want to analyze your tissues or cells with light microscopic or confocal microscopic methods, Histology Facility can offer you:

Services, Equipment & Training


  •     providing fixative solution and holders
  •     formaldehyde, formalin, and acetone fixations
  •     wax embedding of tissues and cells
  •     cutting of wax embedded or frozen tissues
  •     section staining: PASD, hematoxylin-eosin etc.
  •     immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence of intra- and extracellular components
  •     light microscopy


Learn to prepare your tissue blocks, to cut and stain them yourselves.

Note: A short introduction is always mandatory for permission to work in the histology lab.


Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization



  •     chromosome preparation from cell culture or tissues (mouse or human)
  •     chromosome G-banding and karyotyping of mouse or human cells

Different FISH (Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization) techniques:

  1.     arm or whole chromosome painting for detection of translocatioins or many other changes on the chromosome level
  2.     gene level analysis using BAC/PACs on chromosome spreads or interphase nuclei
  3.     ex. Virus (EBV) detection with (bio or dig) labeled DNA