Equipment and Research
- Light Microscopy Core Research


The NHLBI Light Microscopy Core (LMC) consists of three people (Dr. Christian A. Combs (Director), Dr. Daniela A. Malide, and Dr. Xufeng Wu (Deputy Director)) and nineteen microscopes located in buildings 10 and 50 on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The mission of the LMC is to provide state-of-the-art equipment, training, and image processing capabilities to assist NHLBI-DIR researchers in experiments involving light microscopy. To date we have helped researchers publish more than 350 papers. Research conducted by investigators using the LMC has been on many disease states, basic cell biology, and on development and implementation of new imaging methods. Researchers that work in this facility can expect support from core personnel to whatever level suits their research requirements. This can include advanced microscopy techniques like super-resolution and intra-vital two-photon microscopy to more ordinary confocal and wide-field imaging applications. In addition to the microscopes, we provide a full suite of image processing programs on several image processing workstations. In summary this facility operates with state-of-the-art equipment and a dedicated team of imaging professionals to further the research mission of the NHLBI-DIR.

Image Analysis Software

  • Metamorph
  • Hyugens
  • Imaris
  • FIJI
  • Custom Programming


Bldg. 10

  • Leica SP8 STED 3X/Confocal Microscope with Falcon FLIM
  • Leica SP8 Dive Multiphoton Microscope (upright) with Falcon FLIM
  • Visitech Instant Structured Illumination Microscope (iSIM)
  • Zeiss 880 Confocal Microscope (inverted)
  • Zeiss 780 Confocal Microscope (inverted)
  • Nikon Wide-Field Microscope (upright)
  • Leica MZFLIII (dissecting) Microscope
  • Zeiss Apotome Microscope

Bldg. 50

  • Zeiss Elyra 7 with Lattice SIM
  • GE OMX 3D SIM Super-resolution Microscope with Ring-TIRF/OMX SR
  • Nikon N-STORM Super-resolution Microscope
  • Two Zeiss LSM 880-AiryScan microscopes
  • Zeiss LSM 780 Confocal Microscope
  • Nikon A1R Confocal Microscope
  • Zeiss Stereomicroscope (SteREO Discovery V12)
  • Zeiss up-right Axioplan Microscope
  • Olympus IX 81 TIRF microscope
  • Olympus XI81 with CSU-X1 spinning disk confocal and customer-made Laser Trap
  • Zeiss Lattice Light Sheet Microscope

Selected Publications

Mitochondrial DNA Segregation and Replication Restrict the Transmission of Detrimental Mutation

Authors: Chen Z, Wang ZH, Zhang G, Bleck CKE, Chung DJ, Madison GP, Lindberg E, Combs C, Balaban RS, Xu H.
J Cell Biol. 2020 Jul 06;219(7):e201905160

A simple empirical algorithm for optimizing depletion power and resolution for dye and system specific STED imaging.

Authors: Combs, C.A., Sackett. D.L., Knutson, J.R.
J. Micros. 2019 May 09;274(3):168-176

The platelet NLRP3 inflammasome is upregulated in sickle cell disease via HMGB1/TLR4 and Bruton tyrosine kinase.

Authors: Vogel, S., Arora, T., Wang, X., Mendelsohn, L., Nichols, J., Allen, D., Shet, A.S., Combs, C.A., Quezado, Z.M.N., Thein, S.L.
Blood Adv. 2018 Oct 23;2(20):2672-2680

Macrophages Shed Excess Cholesterol in Unique Extracellular Structures Containing Cholesterol Microdomains.

Authors: Jin, X., Dimitriadis, E.K., Liu, Y., Combs, C.A., Chang, J., Varsano, N., Stempinski, E., Flores, R., Jackson, S.N., Muller, L., Woods, A.S., Addadi, L., Kruth, H.S.
Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2018 Jul 27;38(7):1504-1518

A Mouse Model of Schnyder Corneal Dystrophy with the N100S Point Mutation.

Authors: Dong, F., Jin, X., Boettler, M.A., Sciulli, H., Abu-Asab, M., Del Greco, C., Wang, S., Hu, Y., Campos, M. M, Jackson, S., Muller, L., Woods, A. S., Combs, C.A., Nickerson, M.L., Kruth, H.S., Weiss, J.S., Winston W. Kao
Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 05;8(1):10219