Collaborating by courier, imaging by mail

Get access remotely to critical infrastructure and expert knowledge

To be successful in research, scientists require access to complex instruments and sophisticated technologies. Due to the accelerating rate of imaging technology development and turnover, it is difficult for individual research labs to maintain cutting edge infrastructure.

Some institutes have microscopy core facilities where advanced instruments, technologies and services are centralized and share among internal people. However, for an external user who would like to use this service, getting access to a microscopy core can be challenging because of distance and/or due to the current Covid pandemic.

Access to state-of-the-art microscopes and software does not need to be limited home institutions. The microscopy remote interaction program at MDIBL provides access to sophisticated instruments without the need to travel and to be on site.

How it Works

Send us your samples by courier and receive the data by mail.

Figure: Flow diagram of the remote interaction of a core facility with an external collaborator
(see: EMBO Rep, Volume: 21, Issue: 1, First published: 16 December 2019, DOI: (10.15252/embr.201949755)

The program works in two phases: exploration and execution. The exploration phase relies on good communication between the facility and the user to prepare the experiment procedure and make sure that all the expectations are full fill for a successful collaboration. This step is followed by the execution phases where images and data are acquired by the core facility and reviewed by the user. Then both collaborate to publish.

If the scientist wants to supervise the imaging session of his samples by the facility staff, a screen sharing of the imaging software can be done by program like zoom, allowing a direct interaction at the microscope but away a part from each other. (see figure below)

Figure: Screen sharing of the microscope software during acquisition between the facility staff at the microscope and a user in his office. A direct communication between both ensure that the imaging parameters match the scientist’s expectations.

Find the Solution that is Right for You

We aim to offer access to cutting-edge hardware and software as well as professional guidance at any step of the imaging project, from experiment design to image analysis to provide the best service as possible for our users.

We provide:

  • Information and advice on imaging techniques and experimental design
  • Ongoing tailored advice and support for imaging projects
  • Imaging and Image analysis service
  • Bright-field and multi-channel fluorescence microscopy
  • Time-lapse bright-field and fluorescence imaging of live specimens.
  • Laser scanning confocal microscopy, including spectral imaging, multi-positional imaging and photo-manipulation
  • Spinning disk confocal imaging for live experiments in organisms, tissues or cells
  • Super-resolution imaging using Airy scan 2
  • Two-photon for deep tissue imaging and Second-harmonic generation imaging microscopy
  • Image processing and segmentation with Imaris and Fiji

  • Figure: flow chart to get an image with the best resolution and contrast depending on your sample on the LMF at MDIBL. We cover all range of microscopy technique form screening with stereoscopes to super resolution and deep imaging microscopy.
    Simple & Transparent Pricing

    The LMF is open to every scientist desiring access to the state-of-the-art equipment and technologies that are lacking in their home institution. In the MDIBL LMF we try to keep our fees as low as possible and we offer different price plans that depend on the level of interaction between user and the facility, and the level of acknowledgement. Whichever plan you choose, rigor, reproducibility, and good science are the major goal of the interaction.

    Investigators at academic or nonprofit research institutions in the state of Maine are eligible to apply for funding to defray costs of this service (see Funding Opportunity Announcement (Maine INBRE RRC Grants Program) – Maine INBRE)).

    Figure: Formula for using the remote interaction program at MDIBL.

    Figure: Fees for LMF service for 2020 at MDIBL. Fees are calculated by category of microscopes, by the service provided, and by status (faculty, collaborator, or external user).

    The facility offers bonus discount:  
    – ‘pilot’ experiments: 75% discount on a usage price ( assistance for free) to start
    30% discount for non internal people during the winter

    Contact and information

    For any questions concerning the facility or the program, please contact:
    For more information concerning our instruments, please visit: