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PCIC FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Some Important Rules for Facility Users

Before using the Plant Cell Imaging Center (PCIC), all users must be trained by the PCIC Manager. If you are an experienced user, you can still be trained for advanced imaging techniques, once you clear the basic training.

Users will NOT be permitted to train other new users.

On your first appointment, users are required to bring a sample from their project work. This will make the hands-on session more specific to a given application and will help in answering specific sample issues.

Users will be charged for time used with a minimum charge of one hour for each booking. If user does not show up during the first half hour of their booking, the microscope is considered available for other users.

Please do not use any flash drive or CD-RW/DVD-RW for transferring data. Transfer your data to the server, as mentioned in the manual, within one month of collecting your data. If the connection to the server is down, please use ONLY new CD-R or DVD-R to burn your data.

Book A Microscope

Exchange Calendar booking system

Scheduling time on the microscope systems is done with a Cornell-sponsored, online system called Exchange Calendar. Once connected to this web-based agenda, you will be able to check the availability of the microscopes, and reserve them. You will receive the login information after training. For Exchange Calendar booking read the instructions.

For confocal microscope users:

You must book the microscope via Exchange Calendar, even if:

  • You are the only user of the day
  • You decide to use the microscope at the last minute

It is recommended to book the confocal microscope at least one day in advance (you can easily readjust the reservation later).

Booking the Olympus stereomicroscope is not required, but recommended. It will grant you priority on the system.

Cancellation and “No-Show” Policy

Leica Confocal microscope:

For changes on the day of your reservation:
If you want to cancel your reservation or modify it significantly (i.e. more than 30 minutes), you must change or delete your time in the Exchange Calendar. You must also post a message to the PCIClist-L user mailing list, with the following title: “Confocal cancellation” or “Confocal booking change”.

If you do not follow these rules and forget to edit your reservations, you will be charged for the length of the original booking. If you do not appear within 30 minutes of your reservation, you will be considered a “no-show” and lose your priority on the microscope.

If you cancel your reservation while the confocal was left on just for you (last user of the day), you must come to the facility to perform a total shutdown. If you are out of campus, make sure someone can do it for you (the previous user, or any user who has completed the confocal training).

Cancellation at least one day in advance:

Cancel your Exchange Calendar reservation. It is not necessary to send E-mail to PCIClist-L user mailing list.

Olympus stereomicroscope:

If you cannot make your appointment, make sure the mercury lamp was not left on for you, and cancel your booking in Exchange Calendar. It is not necessary to send E-mail to PCIClist-L.

Leica DM5500 microscope:

For changes on the day of your reservation: If you want to cancel your reservation or modify it significantly (i.e. more than 30 minutes), you must change or delete your time in the Exchange Calendar.

If you cancel your reservation while the microscope was left on just for you (last user of the day), you must come to the facility to turn off the mercury lamp and the microscope control box.

After hours access

Direct access to the facility is possible from 9am to 1pm. Before 9am and after 1pm (and during the week-end), you will need to use the door access card reader. Your Cornell ID card can be activated by filling in an Authorization form and scheduling an appointment with pcic@cornell.edu between 9am and 1pm.

Tips and Tricks

What to bring to the facility:

Users should bring their own pipettes, tips, and solutions. There is a sink and a bench space for sample preparation.
Slides and cover slips are not provided by PCIC (except in case of emergency), and users are asked to bring their own supplies (suggestions underneath). PCIC provides the lens paper, water and oil for immersions.

Choice of cover glass / slide / special slide:

Cover glass: Basically any brand is fine, but you have to make sure this is a 1.5 model (i.e. about 0.17 um thickness). If you use a 1.0 model, you will lose some definition. You could use: Fisherbrand cover glass 1.5. Ref: 12-541-B.

Regular slides: Make sure your slides are precleaned and with a very low level of autofluorescence. Frosted surface are convenient for long term labelling. You could use: Fisherfinest Premium Microscope slides. Frosted. Ref: 12-544-2.

Slides for protoplasts: EMS teflon coated slides can prevent your protoplasts from bursting, and keep them healthy. You could use: EMS teflon printed slides. 1 round 15mm diameter well. Ref: 63415-15.

Useful Links

http://probes.invitrogen.com/resources/education
WikiScope is a freely available portal for microscopy, spectroscopy, and bioimaging.

http://www.olympusmicro.com/index.html
Olympus Microscopy resource center. Contains a great deal of information, tutorials, and tools.

https://www.thermofisher.com/us/en/home/life-science/cell-analysis/labeling-chemistry/fluorescence-spectraviewer.html

Fluorescence tutorials from Thermofisher Scientific and access to their spectra viewer.

http://www.invitrogen.com/site/us/en/home/support/Tutorials.html

Fluorescence tutorials from Molecular Probes (Invitrogen).