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The Molecular Imaging Platform (MIP IBMB-PCB) has been set up as a co-operation between the Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona (IBMB) and the Barcelona Scientific Park (PCB). It offers a collection of state-of-the-art light microscopy equipment, including high-resolution and high-speed confocal microscopy, multiphoton microscopy, automatized wide-field imaging, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and image processing tools.

Available applications

  • Automated Wide-Field Microscopy
  • Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy
  • Spinning Disk Confocal Microscopy
  • Multiphoton Microscopy
  • Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy
  • Image processing and analysis
Modus operandi
  • The AFMU is accessible 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday, and welcomes in-house groups from IBMB and PCB as well as external researchers.
  • We provide System Introductions on a regular basis, where you will be taught in both theoretical and practical aspects of the different image acquisition techniques.
  • The equipment should be operated on a self-service mode. Booking permissions are only granted to autonomous users who have been introduced to the systems.
  • The Head of the Unit is Elena Rebollo. If you need any further information please click here.
Other activities
  • We organize every year a Digital Image Processing course. Click here.
Elena Rebollo Arredondo
  • Elena Rebollo Arredondo
  • C/ Baldiri Reixac 15-21
  • 08028 Barcelona, Spain
  • Phone: +34 93 402 0249 / +34 93 402 0837
  • E-mail:

Principal Investigator

Past students

Become a user


  • Registration is required to obtain booking autonomy.
  • To become a registered user Click Here, fill in the form and submit it.
  • Applications lacking lab extension and institutional e-mail address will not be processed.
  • Please note that you will not receive any automatic e-mail notification after submission of the form, you will have to contact the facility staff.
  • Registration does not provide access to the on-line booking application until permissions are granted.
  • Undergraduate and master studens will work under the supervision of autonomous users from their labs, they will not be granted registration neither permissions.

Introductions and Permissions

  • We provide Introductions to the main confocal and wide-field systems on a regular basis. You can choose a date in our Introductions Calendar and send a request to
  • The two routine epifluorescence microscopes and the workstations do not require booking autonomy.

Acces to the Booking Application

External Users

  • External researchers should request an authorization to enter the PCB premises during non-working hours. Send a request to
User guidelines

Here are some general guidelines we follow in order to make every day’s work smooth and efficient. If you need any special requirements or have any useful suggestions please contact us directly.


  • Registration and Introduction to the systems by the Unit staff are compulsory for every user, either novice or advanced.
  • If you cannot remember how to operate a system you were already introduced to, ask the stuff team for advice.
  • Please do not enter in the facility any samples that are potentially hazardous or classified over S1 safety group.
  • If you publish or present any work made or processed in any of our systems, please acknowledge this facility.

Before you start

  • Wipe off dust and smear from the lens and the sample cover slip using lens tissue (soaked in ethanol if required).
  • When environmental control is needed, make sure you have switched on temperature controller at least 30 min in advanced.

While working

  • Check which immersion media are required for each lens you use, before you add any medium (oil, glycerol, water, air). If you don't know, ask the facility stuff.
  • Clean immersion media from lenses with a dry lens tissue every time you change slides. Slides should also be cleaned by a dry kim wipe.
  • Use moderate amounts (1 drop=50 µl) of immersion media. Immediately remove immersion media spilling over the objective rim.

 After you have finished

  • Clean immersion media from every lens you used with a dry lens tissue.
  • Always check up the reservations page to see whether somebody is booked after you.
  • If you are last user of the day, switch off the equipment (fluorescence lamps, lasers, microscope controllers, cameras, softwares, PCs), according to the instructions provided by the facility stuff. Cover the microscope (if applicable) and clean up the microscope bench from any residues (including dangerous glass coverslips and slides pieces).
  • Pay especial attention to the "system switch off" on Fridays; please make sure the lasers and fluorescence lamps are not left on over the weekend.
  • Incidences should be reported to the unit stuff, either in person or by e-mail. Writing incidences in the logging sheet is not a guarantee of efficient assistance.

Booking Guidelines

  • Booking of the microscope before use is mandatory, even if it is not being used by anybody else.
  • Logging sheets (at the microscope) should be filled up and signed after your session.
  • If you have booked the system and do not need to use the slot, delete your booking.
  • If you delete a booking on a saturated system (SP5), please send an e-mail to the cancellations list provided by the facility stuff. You can request us to be included in the cancellations notification list (or deleted from it).
  • If you delete the last booking on the day, ensure that the system is switched off (the previous user might not know that you are going to delete your booking).
  • Try to set long time-lapse experiments during nights and weekends, especially if the system is saturated (remember to switch off devices not needed during time lapse like the HBO lamp on confocal systems).
  • If you would like a long experiment to be saved by the next user, please contact him/her and get to an agreement.
  • Indicate in the booking application whether you will use temperature control during your session.

Data transfer and storage

  • When you save data locally, store it in a folder prepared to that purpose (normally it will be local hard disk D, folder “Users” or “Data”). Do not store data on the C: system hard disk, it may damage the system and reduce working memory.
  • Transfer you data as soon as possible to avoid data loss, local hard disks will be automatically deleted in 15 days. Please remember that external memories/pendrives are not allowed due to the risk of viruses. Use the servers designated to that purpose.

NOTE: It is not allowed to plug in any USB memories into the Microscopy Unit computers. Please use the servers:

PCB Server (CABALLA).  For all PCB members. It allows access to group´s folders. Images will be stored in the server for 2 weeks, after that time they will be automatically deleted.

IBMB Server.  Only for IBMB members. It allows access to personal folders. Images will be stored in the server for 7 days, after that time they will be automatically deleted.

How to access CABALLA:

You first need to get permissions

1. Check if you are included at the PCB's database (contact reception and ask):

Helix: 934037172.

Cluster: 934037171.

2. Click on the following link:

3. Click on "aquest enllaç" (the first one).

4. Create your new email address for PCB.

5. In 2-3 days you will receive a letter by internal post with your username and temporary password (you can change it by clicking Here)

Then you can connect either way:

Windows users:

  • Go to "My pc" and write in the address bar:
  • Click on the folder "microscopy"
  • Insert your user name as:
  • Type your password

Mac users:

  • Finder/Go/Connect to Server,  write in the address bar:
  • Insert your user name as:
  • Type your password
  • Click on the folder "microscopy" 
Please disconnect from server once you have finished
IMPORTANT NOTE: do not click on "remember my password", otherwise it will be blocked for other users !!!

How to access the IBMB Server

This server allows to upload/download files to/from your personal folder and also to share files between IBMB user through the "Shared" folder.

A. Old Intranet Server (This server does not support new users and will be disabled soon)

How to connect:

1. From the home webpage click in the Intranet link or go to

2. Write username (it is the name in your email address preceding

3. Once inside the intranet web page, click on "Servidor archivos FTP-VPN"

4. Click on "SFTP Seguro-IBMB"

5. Secure FTP Java applet will be loaded (you may need to accept the applet). Click on Connect button.

6. Write the provided Username and Password in the form. Click on Connect.

7.You will enter in your personal folder.

8. Move files from your local hard drive (left) to the server (right). Clicking the two dots ".." will take the FTP application back one directory. To share files put them into the "Shared" folder.

9. To finish click in Disconnect button.

NOTE: FTP applet can be accessed directly (without going through the intranet page), using this address:

B. New Intranet Server

User Registration: Send an email to with subject: "Acceso al Servicio de Transferencia de archivos-SFTP" and provide the name of your group. You will receive an email with your user and password. 

How to connect: 

1. Go to My PC and write in the address bar:
  • Write the provided username and password in the form.
  • Move files from your folder in the computer to the server.
  • To finish, just close the window.
2. You can also transfer files using Filezilla installed in the facility computers.
  • Open Filezilla and write the host, your username, your password and click "Quick connect"
  • You will enter in your personal folder. Move files from your local hard drive (right) to the server (left). Clicking the two dots ".." will take the server back one directory.
  • To finish, just close the window.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the IBMB server structure is being modified. If you are new to the institute and need temporal storage space please contact:
Luis Fernando Montoya,

Zeiss Lsm780 Confocal & Mutiphoton Microscope


The Zeiss Lsm780 is a confocal system with exceptional sensitivity. The GaAsP detector achieves 45% quantum efficiency compared to the 25% by conventional PMT detectors, and is capable of photon counting. The system´s illumination/detection design allows for simultaneous acquisition of up to ten dyes. The new optical design, the electronics concept and the user-friendly software make this confocal system fast, efficient and easy to use. In addition, the system is configured for Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FSC) and equipped with a MaiTai Deepsee IR laser for Multiphoton Microscopy (MPM).

Download specifications
Leica TCS-SP5 Confocal Microscope (Leica Microsystems, Wetzlar, Germany)


Laser scanning confocal systems have major imaging advantages:

  • Light rays from outside the focal plane will not be recorded, thus allowing for optical sectioning
  • The object can be scanned in x/y-direction as well as in z-direction (along the optical axis)
  • Upon processing, many slices can be superimposed, giving an extended focus image which can only be achieved in a conventional microscope by reducing the aperture and thus sacrificing resolution

Additionally, the SP5 TSC system provides a high efficiency spectral detection, which together with the AOBS (Acousto-Optical Beam Splitter) enables the simultaneous imaging of up to 4 different wavelengths at high resolution. The system covers a wide range of confocal applications, including a number of other advanced techniques such as FRAP, FRET, FLIP and Photoconversion, which are facilitated by user-friendly wizards designed to the purpose.


User Manuals

Spinning disk confocal microscope (PerkinElmer Ultraview ERS)


The PerkinElmer UltraVIEW system (PerkinElmer Life Sciences Inc., MA, USA) is a Yokogawa (Yokogawa Corp. Japan) Nipkow Spinning Disk Confocal System. It uses a spinning disk with multiple pinholes to achieve confocality (e.g. the rejection of out-of-focus light). Emission light from the sample passes through the pinholes to generate a confocal image of the sample that can be detected with an EMCCD (Electron Multiplification Charge-Coupled Device) camera. Spinning disk confocal systems have 2 main advantages over conventional Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes (LSCM):

  • Higher imaging speed: up to 360frames/sec compared to 0.5-1 frames per second in a LSC
  • Lower photo-toxicity: around 5 times less than a LSCM, probably due to the fact that the system splits the laser light into thousands of minibeams.

It is specially suited for live 4D imaging of fast cellular processes and for FRAP (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) and related experiments.


User Manual

Leica AF6500 widefield microscope


The Leica AF6500 wide-field system offers a flexible platform for a wide range of conventional fluorescence applications, from routine imaging and documentation to high-speed live cell imaging. It is equipped with temperatura and CO2 control and uses the same easy-to-use software platform shared by the Leica confocal systems.



Nikon E600 microscope

Upright microscope fitted with a digital camera.

Objectives 4x  0.13NA Plan Fluor

10x 0.30NA Plan Fluor

20x 0.50NA Plan Fluor

40x 0.75NA Plan Fluor

60x 1.40NA Oil Plan Apo

100x 1.30NA Oil Plan Fluor

Camera DP72 (Olympus)

Color digital camera

Leica DM IRBE (Leica Microsystems)


The DM IRBE microscope is a versatile inverted scope used for a wide range of applications. It is ideally suited for basic examinations of cells and tissues, but can also be implemented for more sophisticated demands such as micromanipulation, microinjection, microdissection or confocal microscopy. Our DMIRBE is equipped with long distance working objecives, phase contrast optics, basic epifluorescence filters and a cool snap CCD camera (photometrics) for basic acquisition of transmission and fluorescence images.


User Manuals

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