Core Facilities

Confocal Microscopy and Cellular Imaging Unit

The Confocal Microscopy and Cellular Imaging Unit at SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital (UMCHSJD) forms part of the Daniel Bravo Center for diagnosis and research into minority diseases (CDB) and the Pediatric Institute of Rare Diseases (IPER).

It is located in the Pathological Anatomy Service, which offers a first-class record for the study of cell biology and the pathology and the pathogenesis of human maladies.

Since the beginning of 2017, the main objective of the UMCHSJD has been to evaluate and improve the experimental capacities and diagnostics of human pathology within a health and academic environment.

The Unit provides systems of optical microscopy, equipment for sample preparation and the maintenance and resources for subsequent imaging, processing and data.

It also offers services of the so-called confocal nanoscopy, which substantially increases the resolution of the confocal microscope, allowing the visualization of individual molecules inside the cells and a resolution of up to 60 nm.

The staff at the Confocal Microscopy Unit collaborates with researchers and with clinical users in the experimental planning of confocal microscopy experiments while further facilitating advanced training in the use of microscopes and specific imaging techniques. Additionally, it provides support in the processing and analysis of the acquired datasets, designing, if desired, customized analysis routines.

The two main challenges of this Unit are, on the one hand, to supply instruments that cover the whole spectrum of applications in the field of advanced optical microscopy to researchers from the HSJD as well as to both private and public institutions, and on the other hand, to incorporate this technology, a field so new and still to be fully explored in the field of diagnosis, and make it available to the clinical specialists at the HSJD.

The strategic location of the team and the close collaboration of its personnel within the Pathological Anatomy Service and Pediatric Biobank allows us to use many techniques for the preparation of samples which, along with an expert knowledge of morphology, makes the UMCHSJD a unit of quite singular characteristics.