Laser scanning confocal microscopy, or short ‘confocal’ microscopy, is a fluorescence light microscopy technique. A laser focus is scanned across the sample and excites fluorescent probes with which the imaged sample is labeled. The emitted fluorescence is recorded with a detector through a pinhole. This pinhole filters out any light emitted from locations other than the laser focus. Confocal microscopy therefore produces higher-contrast images than conventional widefield microscopes, especially when samples are thicker than a few microns.
Modern confocal microscopes support 4 and more color channels and are well-suited for multicolor imaging. They are capable of live-cell imaging but for particularly light-sensitive applications, other techniques should be considered. Scattering can be an issue in samples thicker than a few tens of microns, reducing image quality dramatically. 2-photon microscopy and/or tissue clearing can help in this case.
Availability at Yale
Yale University has a large number of confocal microscopes. Facilities that provide access to confocal microscopes include:
- CCMI – confocal microscopy, 2-photon microscopy, STED super-resolution microscopy
Please contact us if you think your research in hematology might benefit from using these kind of imaging techniques. We are happy to meet with you, discuss your particular application with you and explore available options. We also offer limited financial support that will allow researchers at all career stages to try out new imaging techniques without any costs.