ECP3 Multi-Scale Imaging Facility (MuSIF)

McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec
What the facility does

Imaging facility specialized in life, agricultural and environmental sciences, providing a full range of state-of-the-art light and electron microscopes, and a CT-scanner

Areas of expertise

The Multi-Scale Imaging Facility (MuSIF) serves the McGill community and external users. It is the only facility in Eastern Canada specialized in imaging agricultural samples, such as plants and small animals. While this agriculture-focused expertise makes the facility unique, the users come from a much wider range of disciplines. The MuSIF offers access to state-of-the-art instruments for sample preparation, light and electron microscopy, and CT-scanning. The facility provides in depth consultation and support from experimental design to data publishing and follow-up with users over the different stages of their project. The facility staff has a wide range of expertise from sample preparation for light, electron and X-ray based imaging techniques, live imaging, immuno-histochemistry, cellular to whole organism imaging, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), CT-scanning, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF), fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), to data and image analysis.

Research services
  • Consultation from experimental design to data analysis.
  • One-on-one and group theoretical training and workshops.
  • One-on-one personalized practical training depending on the users' needs.
  • Full or partial services performed by a member of the Facility (sample preparation, imaging acquisition, data analysis, preparation of reports).
  • Technical advice for Principal Investigators writing equipment and operating grant proposals involving imaging, as well as for call for tenders and procurement.
  • Proofreading of grant proposals and research manuscripts.
Sectors of application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Education
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment



Zeiss Axio Imager Z1 with Apotome

Wide-field epifluorescence upright microscope, DIC, phase contrast, dark-field, Apotome

Zeiss LSM710 with Airyscan

Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope (CLSM). Spectral imaging, live cell, tiling, multipoint, definite focus, multi-channel, FRET, FRAP, Airyscan

Nikon TE2000

Wide-field epifluorescence inverted microscope, DIC, phase contrast, large stage, 4D imaging

Zeiss SteREO Discovery.V8

Stereomicroscope, bright field (+), dark field, epifluorescence imaging

Zeiss AxioObserver Z1 spinning disk confocal microscope with TIRF

Live cell, tiling, multipoint, definite focus, multi-channel (up to 3 dyes simultaneously), FRET, FRAP, TIRF

Hitachi TM-1000 SEM

User-friendly tabletop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), backscattered electron detectors, TOPO and 3D views

Pelco BioWave

Science-grade microwave for sample preparation for light and electron microscopy. Wattage and power control, water-cooled, temperature controlled, vacuum, air bubbler.

Leica Ultracut Ultramicrotome

Resin block sectioning for TEM. Semi-thin and ultra-thin sections.

Leica EM CPC Cryo-workstation and FreasySub unit

Cryo-fixation and freeze substitution. Fully automated and manual modes. Bare grid technique, metal mirror cryo-fixation, cryo-SEM.

Leica EM CPD300 Critical Point Dryer

Sample critical drying for SEM. Fully automated. Chamber volume: 185mL. Several adapters available.

Leica EM ACE200 Sputter Coater

Fully automated. Sputter source: Au/Pd. Carbon evaporation. Planetary drive stage. Up to 18 positions for 1/2” SEM stubs. Quartz crystal thickness measurement.

Imaris Workstation

Image analysis software

Canon Aquilion Prime SP CT-Scanner

CT scanner for small and large specimens. 78-cm diameter gantry. Gantry tilting. Couch 1.5m x 47cm. Two fields of view (32 and 50 cm), with the possibility of multiple ROI for each FOV using enlargement ratios. CT-scanning data acquisition modes: Helical, Volume, Scan and View, at least 5 filters and 86 reconstruction algorithms (from smoother to sharper). DICOM-format output files with graphical and numerical materials.