Core Facility & Research Group
OICE - Optical Imaging Centre Erlangen
Usage Guideline

Optical Imaging Centre Erlangen

OICE is a scientific centre of the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen with very close connections to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL).

The centre’s mission is to provide and coordinate access to high-end light microscopes within its Core Facility Unit (CFU) and to promote research and development of new systems and techniques at its Exploratory Research Unit (ERU). The CFU kick-starts with a number of localised and de-localised high-end microscopes and a great number of participating research groups from the faculty of natural sciences, the medical faculty and technical faculty. Two main application domains of CFU are in lifesciences and material sciences. The cooperation between OICE and MPL fosters new developments in optical imaging and related techniques that will become available to the users of the CFU after proof of principle demonstrations within the ERU. The third column of OICE activities consists of the Education and Training Unit (ETU), which provides training and consultation for researchers and students.

In addition to its optical expertise, OICE offers post image processing and image analysis (with strong focus on automated techniques), in part through very strong ties with the Image Processing Department of the Fraunhofer Institute IIS.

OICE is supported by the German excellence initiative through the Cluster of Excellence Engineering of Advanced Materials and Erlangen School of Advanced Optical Technologies (SAOT).

The OICE comprises of three main departments. The Core Facility Unit (CFU), the Exploratory Research Unit (ERU) and the Educational Training Unit (ETU).

The CFU will start with a localised Leica SP5 II Fast Resonant Scanner Live Imaging system and a brandnew Zeiss Spinning Disc system fully automised and equipped with an Evolve camera and incubation chamber. There will also be a self assembled GSD super-resolution microscope available. There is also a good number of de-localised laser scanning microscopes in the pool managed and maintained by the CFU.

The ERU will provide a forum for invention development of new imaging instruments and related techniques. To begin, one STED microscope and additionally a PALM microscope will be built and be provided to the CFU for regular use by customers.


Dr. Ralf Palmisano
POSITION Imaging Facility Director


  • Laser Scanning Confocal (LSM)
  • Deconvolution widefield microscopy
  • Stimulated Emission Depletion Microscopy (STED)
  • Single Molecule Imaging Techniques
  • Functional Imaging of Living Cells
  • Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy
  • Fast widefield ratio imaging (Ca/pH/FRET)
  • Image Analysis
  • Spinning Disc Confocal
  • High-throughput Microscopy
  • Bioluminescence Imaging
  • High Speed Confocal (more than 20 Hz full frame)