Imaging cell facility

The cellular imaging facility of the CPTP offers a wide array of biophotonic approaches, allowing to visualize biological events from the nanometric to the organ scale.

Microscopes are available for scientists from the CPTP but also from outside the institute (public or private domain).

Thanks to the connection of the facility with TRI (Toulouse Réseau Imagerie), the facility is ISO9001 V2015 and NFX 50-900 v2016 certified, in order to ensure a continuous improvement and customer satisfaction.

Services provided

For every new user, we organize a first meeting to help to choose the best protocol and to decide which microscope to use.

The facility offers two types of services:

  • Training: A training provided by the engineers of the facility is mandatory to be granted an access to the microscopes and to book them
  • Expertise: Engineers of the facility can help you for the technical development of your projects and for the analysis of your data.

Training, advice, competence

  • Training to use microscopes
  • Help for implementation or optimization of an experimental protocol
  • Assistance for certain technical approaches
  • Help for image analysis
  • Expertise for private companies
  • Continuing education (INSERM, CNRS, University, private company, Workshop)


Techniques available on the facility

  • Spectral imaging
  • Time lapse
  • FRET
  • TIRF
  • IRM (Interference Reflection Microscopy)
  • Biphoton
  • dSTORM
  • STED
  • Photoactivation
  • uPAINT

Image analysis

  • Object quantification
  • Fluorescence intensity quantification
  • Colocalization
  • Macros for ImageJ
  • 4D analysis with Imaris
  • ImageJ
  • Training for image analysis


The technical imaging facility of the CPTP offers tools to image your samples from the cellular to the tissular scale.

Upright 2 Photon microscope Ziss LSM 7MP


Purkinje cells are labelled with calbidin (red), nucleus with Dapi (cyan) and CMH class 1 in green – Lidia Yshii, Team Roland Liblau

  • Upright multi photon Zeiss LSM 7MP microscope for cellular and tissular multicolor acquisitions thanks to the 5-channel NDD. The pulsed laser Chameleon Ultra II is adjustable from 690 to 1080 nm.
  • Objectives: dipping 20X Plan-Apo (NA: 1), 40X oil Plan-Apo (NA: 1.4) and 40X water immersion (NA: 1.1).
  • The microscope is fully encaged and regulated for temperature and CO2 to maintain cells in optimal growth conditions.
  • It is also equipped for tissue explant for hours.


Tutorial 7MP

Tutorial for Live imaging


Wide field Microscope

Videomicroscope for the 3D observation of living cells.

Inverted Zeiss microscope equipped with a 100 µm piezo, a cooled CCD camera (CoolSnap HQ), an Optoscan CAIRN monochromator and Metamorph and Metafluor (for calcium flux) softwares.

The microscope is fully encaged and allows long acquisition times. It is well suited for intracellular calcium flux quantification using a ratiometric dye such as Fura-2.

Objectives: 10X, 40X, 63X and 100X.



Microscope Apotome 2

Meryem Aloulou, Team Nicolas Fazilleau

  • This microscope can be used as a wide field but it can also remove out of focus fluorescence to allow optical sectioning.
  • It is also possible to perform image tiling with a perfect stitching.
  • Exact positions can be studied for several days with a perfect repositioning.
  • The microscope is fully encaged and regulated for temperature and CO2 to maintain cells in optimal growth conditions.
  • Objectives: 10X, 20X, 40X and 63X.
  • Fluorescent filters for DAPI, Green, Red and Far Red.


Confocal Spinning disk / TIRF/ FRAP microscope

  • Lasers: 375 nm (for photoactivation), 405 nm, 491 nm, 561 nm and 642 nm.
  • Objectives: 10X Plan Apo (NA 0.75), 20X plan apo (NA 0.75), 40X oil immersion fluor (NA 1.3) suited for UV experiments, 60X oil immersion plan apo (NA 1.4) and 100X oil immersion apochromate (NA 1.49) for TIRF experiments. DIC can be acquired with all the objectives.
  • The CSU-X1 confocal scanner unit allows ultra-fast acquisition times, while limiting photobleaching.
  • ILas² module allows FRAP/FLIP/photoactivation experiments and also azimuthal TIRF and dSTORM.
  • The microscope is fully encaged and regulated for temperature and CO2 to maintain cells in optimal growth conditions.




Confocal LSM 710 microscope

A mouse hippocampal neuronal culture infected by Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoïtes (Red: MAP2, Blue: GFAP, Green: T. gondii), Marcy Belloy, Equipe Blanchard

  • Lasers: 405 nm, 458 nm, 477 nm, 488 nm, 514 nm, 543 nm et 633 nm on an inverted motorized microscope
  • Objectives: 20x plan apo (NA: 0.8) and 63x oil plan apo (NA 1.4).
  • Equipped with temperature and oxygen controllers.
  • With the spectral detector, autofluorescence can be removed and dyes which are spectrally close can be separated.
  • FRAP and colocalization modules are available.



Confocal SP8-STED 3X microscope

  • Mise en évidence du virus Zika dans les spermatozoïdes humains par microscopie de super-résolution STED. Tom20-StarRed (Mitochondries en vert) et 4G2-Alexa-594 (Virus Zika en violet). Elsa Suberbielle, équipe Dunia, CPTP.

    Lasers: 405 nm, 488 nm, 532 nm, 552 nm and 635 nm on an inverted motorized microscope

  • For STED acquisition, excitation lasers are 532 and 635 nm. Depletion laser is 775 nm.
  • Objectives: 20 X Plan Fluotar DIC (NA: 0.8), 63x Oil plan apo DIC (NA 1.4) and a 100X (NA 1.4) for STED acquisitions
  • The system is equipped with 3 high sensitive HyD (QE: 45 % instead of 25 % for PMT) and 2 PMT.
  • Equipped with temperature and oxygen controllers.


Image analysis

Analysis of GFP expression in dentate Gyrus of a mouse after stereotaxic injection of a lentiviral vector . Nucleus are labelled with Dapi (blue) A. Betourne, Team Dunia

Three computers are available for image treatment and analysis. You can also use them to perform deconvolution on wide field images. On request, engineers of the facility can also write macros for ImageJ in order to automate your analyses.

Three softwares are available:

  • Metamorph (Universal Imaging)
  • ImageJ: free software mainly for 2D or 2D+ time image analysis. Macros can be written to automate analyses.
  • Imaris: for 3D and 3D+time analysis. Can create surfaces, track cells and generate statistical analyses. Movies can also be created with Imaris.

RNA FISH visualization of TLR7 escape from X inactivation in a memory B lymphocyte, Mélanie Souyris, Eq JC Guéry




Tutorial for FigureJ

Tutorial for ImageJ

Contact & booking

Equipments of the facility are in self-service access after a mandatory training. Booking can be done on the TRI website (demandée).

The imaging facility of the CPTP is located at the second floor of the F building, Pavillon Lefebvre, within the CHU Purpan.


The facility frequently organizes training sessions.

In 2018, several sessions will take place:

– Training on image analysis with ImageJ (first part: April 5th and 6th; second part: May 17th and 18th, with an optional day for macros)

Registration on the Sirene website. For non-INSERM users, contact
Instructors: S. Allart and A. Canivet-Laffitte

– Training on image analysis with Imaris (June 4th, 5th and 6th).

Registration on the Sirene website. For non-INSERM users, contact
Instructors: Sophie Allart and Sébastien Marais (BIC, Bordeaux).


Member of TRI-GENOTOUL (Toulouse Réseau Imagerie) ISO 9001:2008 since january 2010 and NF X50-900 since february 2014.

Member of RTMFM – Microscopie Photonique de Fluorescence Multidimensionnelle.

Member of GDR 2588 CNRS-Microscopie fonctionnelle du vivant.


Other information

Steering comittee
  • Dr S. Guerder (CPTP- Eq Guerder)
  • Dr N. Blanchard (CPTP-Eq Blanchard)
  • Dr P. Romagnoli (CPTP-Eq Van Meerwijk)
  • Dr M. Savignac (CPTP -Eq. Guery)
  • Dr F. Briand –Messange (CPTP-Eq. Salles)
  • Dr M. Requena (CPTP-Eq Izopet)
  • Dr R. Lesourne (CPTP-Eq Lesourne)
  • Dr D. Gonzalez-Dunia (CPTP-Eq Dunia/Casper)
  • Dr Saoudi (CPTP-Eq Liblau/Saoudi)
  • Dr C. Leprince (UDEAR)
  • Dr N. Vergnolle (IRSD)
  • Dr N. Gaudenzio (UDEAR)
  • Dr L. Dupré (CPTP)

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