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Research Services


The services offered by the Nikon BioImaging Lab can be roughly divided into 5 themes, varying with service type and level. Unlike a traditional core facility, our services don’t stop at assisted equipment use, but include up to full service imaging, analysis, assay development, and cell culture.

Not sure if your needs fit strictly within one of the below service options? There’s no need to worry, we are flexible in designing a relationship to provide the services you need, and not the ones you don’t. These are simply guidelines to help explain the capabilities of the Nikon BioImaging Lab, and avenues for engaging with us.

Full service imaging

Drop off your samples and leave the imaging to Nikon. We’ll send back the imaging data in your preferred format. This option is best for customers who want to do their own image analysis and quantification, but don’t have sufficient time, personnel, and/or equipment availability for desired type of imaging. You choose the level of culturing service that makes sense for the chosen service(s).

Full service analysis

We perform all qualitative and quantitative analyses on images and report complete results. This service applies to both images acquired at the Nikon BioImaging Lab and elsewhere using other microscope systems, including those produced by other manufacturers. This service may even be provided remotely, expanding its availability beyond the Leiden Bioscience Park area. We can even work with our headquarters in Tokyo and Amsterdam to craft custom analysis solutions for demanding applications, including solutions based on artificial intelligence/machine learning.

Cell classification tool segments and classifies samples into categories for counting and measurement

Assisted equipment use

Experienced and semi-experienced users can bring samples and have us walk them through the acquisition and analysis process. We can even provide microscopy education, training, and consulting services to help maximize the effectiveness of your group with image-based research more generally. Once users have had sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the equipment, we can transition to an independent equipment use model as detailed in the next section.

Equipment use

Experienced microscopy users can rent time on our instrumentation at a simple hourly rate, similar to a traditional imaging core facility. Equipment use includes both imaging with our various microscope systems, as well as the use of our NIS-Elements software for image analysis and reporting applications. It is also possible to begin with an assisted equipment use arrangement and to transition to independent use once you are comfortable doing so.

Cell culture use

The Nikon BioImaging Lab is supplied with all necessary equipment and accessories for the successful cell culturing, e.g. biosafety and chemical cabinets, cell culture CO2 incubators, and an innovative cell observation microscope inside the biosafety cabinet – BioStudio-Mini. In addition, OxyGenie, a miniaturized incubation platform, allows the users to transport live-cell culture under physiological conditions (temperature and gas) to the lab.

We can sit down with you to take a holistic look at your research question and how we can address it, working together to craft and implement a complete bioimaging solution. This includes cell culturing, imaging hardware delivery or operation, image analysis and quantification, reporting, and process refinement.