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Osaka University


Centre d’imagerie Nikon

Osaka University

"Osaka University/Nikon Imaging Center" supports researchers in a wide range of fields. The imaging facility is available to researchers at Osaka University and throughout Japan.

The first Nikon Imaging Center (NIC) was established at Harvard University in 2001. Since then, the number of Nikon Imaging Centers have grown, with centers being established at major research institutions around the world. The Osaka University Nikon Imaging Center is the 10th NIC to be established.

Nikon Imaging Centers are established as a partnership between the academic institute and Nikon with a goal to provide cutting-edge microscopy tools to the local research community. By bringing researchers together, NICs aim to provide collaboration opportunities not only within the institute but across the growing global network of Centers. In addition, NICs’ goals include furthering the knowledge of microscopy concepts and applications by providing educational programs and being a learning resource for the research community.

The mission of the NIC at Osaka University is to provide advanced technologies for in vivo imaging that can capture biological processes inside living cells, tissues, and organisms. Available systems include multiphoton, super-resolution, confocal, and cell culture observation devices. The NIC also provides unique networking and collaboration opportunities to enhance and accelerate individual research programs.

Main Features:

  • State-of-the-art microscope and imaging systems
  • Microscope usage scheduled through appointments
  • Seminars on imaging and image analysis techniques, for both beginner and advanced users.
  • Training and support provided by dedicated technical instructors and engineers from Nikon Solutions Co., Ltd.
  • Tours and education training for elementary, middle and high-level students.
  • Development and testing of new and emerging imaging technologies


NIC Director

Masaru Ishii (Ph.D)


Osaka University/Nikon Imaging Center
Research Institute Building L, Faculty of Medicine
Osaka University
2-2, Yamadaoka, Suita
Osaka, Japan

Systems Available

Station-1: Inverted Multiphoton Microscope System

Multiphoton-absorption based system for imaging deep inside living organisms. Configured on an inverted microscope platform, this system is ideally suited for imaging fluorescent structures in biological tissue sections and spheroids.

Station-2: Upright Multiphoton Microscope System

Multiphoton-absorption based system for imaging deep inside living organisms. Configured on an upright microscope platform, this system is ideally suited for imaging fluorescent structures inside whole organs such as mouse brain.

Station-3: Confocal Microscope System

High-speed, point-scanning confocal system with the world’s largest field of view (FOV=25mm). The enlarged FOV allows users to capture more ~2x more data in each scan compared to traditional confocals, accelerating data throughput. The system’s resonant scanner allows ultra-high-speed imaging up to 480 fps. Confocal imaging removes out-of-focus blur, resulting in high-clarity images. Image resolution can be further enhanced with ER mode. This system is compatible with a wide range of samples, ranging from fixed specimens to living cells.

  • Product Name : A1RHD25
  • Microscope Platform : Ti-E

Station-4: Structured Illumination Super-Resolution Microscope System

Provides 2x the resolution of conventional light microscopes (~100 nm in XY). The N-SIM system utilizes structured illumination (produced through a novel pattern modulation technology) and analytical processing to mathematically restore sub-resolution structures. Users can visualize sub-resolution structures of intracellular organelles such as mitochondrial christae and more accurately determine protein co-localization states.

  • Product Name : N-SIM
  • Microscope Platform : Ti-E

Station-5: Cell Culture Observation System

A fully-automated, fully-enclosed microscope system that combines cell culture and imaging environments to enable accurate monitoring of individual cells and colonies while maintaining stable environmental conditions. This system is ideal for imaging cell types that require minimal handling and stable culture conditions such as stem cells.

  • Product Name : BioStation CT
  • Imaging Modes : Brightfield, Phase contrast, Epifluorescence

Single software platform for all stations (excluding BioStation CT)

Nikon’s NIS-Elements software provides basic functionality such as simple image acquisition to more complex imaging workflows such as time-lapse, 3D, image stitching, and multi-position. In addition, the software offers a wide range of post-acquisition processing, analysis and visualization tools.