University of Southern California


Super-resolution Microscope OMX

Research Deans,

I am happy to announce the upcoming acquisition of an important new piece of shared research equipment from General Electric, with support from the Dornsife College, Viterbi School of Engineering and the Provost Core Instrumentation Fund. This acquisition fulfills one of the critical priorities in USC’s Plan for Science and Technology Facilities.

Breaking the diffraction barrier: 3D-SIM is a super-resolution technique that resolves images to approximately 120nm in xy and 300nm in z (+/-depending on wavelength). It uses structured illumination patterns created by diffraction phase gratings to generate a multi-beam pattern, to map 3D interference in the sample. The sample is imaged using several different orientations and phases of the light pattern then computer algorithms process the data set and generate the final super-resolution image at sub-diffraction resolution.

The OMX microscope is compatible with a wide range of common fluorophores and standard sample preparation. It has six laser lines and three cameras, allowing simultaneous multichannel acquisition (1 micron stack, multiple channels, in less than one minute.) Live cell analysis is possible. The OMX also functions as a high-speed diffraction-limited widefield deconvolution microscope with solid state light illumination, capable of >400 fps. It provides multiline TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) illumination optimized for each excitation wavelength. It is user-friendly and robust.

The equipment will be housed within the CEMMA core laboratory on the University Park Campus, and available to the entire university community. Expected installation will be by the end of the summer.

My appreciation goes to Susan Forsburg for bringing the important scientific contributions of this equipment to our attention.

For more information on USC’s core laboratories, go to:

Please let your research investigators know about this upcoming acquisition.

Randy Hall