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BioMIID at the Vanderbilt Biophotonics Center

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Welcome to BioMIID at the Vanderbilt Biophotonics Center!!! BioMIID (Biomedical Microscopy, Immersion, Innovation, and Discovery) is a program created through a Vanderbilt Trans-Institutional Programs (TIPs) award in 2017, and brings together experts from three schools (Engineering, Medicine, and Arts & Science), focused on biophotonics innovation and biomedical discovery. Students, postdocs, staff, and faculty come together to innovate cutting-edge microscopy systems that do not yet exist in the commercial realm, in order to address pressing biomedical research questions. The goal is to develop a cadre of trainees at all levels who can identify pressing research questions and build next generation instrumentation that exceeds the limitations of commercial systems. These systems then are deployed to the vast user-base of our Vanderbilt research community, where researchers exploit the strengths of such systems to tackle their diverse array of biomedical research interests. 

Our current focus is building and running next-gen light sheet platforms with a few goals in mind. Light sheet microscopy is a vague term these days, which only describes the general strategy of selective plane illumination. Like many technologies, instruments can be optimized for specific applications. An instrument designed to do everything, is generally not the best at any one thing. While most light sheets systems share the benefit of speed and lower phototoxicity (relative to confocal for example), they can vary dramatically in 1). the types of samples they can accommodate 2). spatial resolution, and 3). field-of-view (FOV). Since we serve a diverse user base, interested in sub-cellular all the way to organism -scale imaging applications, it is important that we develop instruments that can address a range of sample types and requirements. As such, we have built and deployed the 1st two (of several more) microscopy platforms aimed at imaging samples throughout this range.

  • Lattice Light Sheet Microscope (LLS)
    • Designed and utilized with high-resolution, low phototoxicity, high-speed applications in mind
    • More sample restrictive than other light sheet platforms, and excels at live cell experiments
    • Utilizes two, orthogonally arranged, objectives to shape the light sheet and gather the emitted signal

  • Scanned Oblique Plane Illumination Microscope (SOPi)
    • Designed with sample flexibility in mind and can accommodate a wide array of sample types from cells to organisms
    • Utilizes a single objective to both shape the excitation sheet,as well as collect the emitted signal
    • Lower overall spatial resolution, but higher field-of-view (FOV) (vs. LLS, for example)


  • Lattice Light Sheet Gen2, with Dual-Cam, Multiphoton, and Adaptive Optics
  • Scanned Oblique Plane Illumination Microscope with Multi-Resolution, Dual-Cam, Multiphoton, and Photo-Stim


Interested in a research collaboration opportunity with BioMIID???!

Click this link , or navigate to the menu on the top right of this page, to access the application form!