SEM image of Staphylococcus bacteria

Celebrating 44 Years of Advancing University of Iowa Research

At the University of Iowa's Central Microscopy Research Facilities, we provide a wide variety of microscopy techniques for materials and biomedical investigators, an experienced staff, 24/7 access, and support for the beginner and experienced investigator. As one of the leading university microscopy facilities in the nation, our microscopy team is ready to support your research program.


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The CMRF is Offering Introductory Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) Workshops in August

The University of Iowa Central Microscopy Research Facilities (CMRF) will be offering two Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) workshops.  These workshops will present attendees with an overview of SEM imaging, and will highlight the capabilities of SEMs available to UI researchers. The first workshop will be held on Monday, August 14 from 1-4 pm in room 79 EMRB.  The second will be held Tuesday, August 15, from 9 am to noon at the same location.  Please select the workshop that best suits your schedule.  Lectures will be presented on sample preparation and SEM theory, and will be followed with a live demonstration on the CMRF’s high-resolution field emission SEM.  There is no cost to register. Attendance will be limited to 8 participants per session. 

Email Randy Nessler or call 335-8142 to register for the workshop.


New High-end Workstation installed for Imaris 3D and 4D Real-time Interactive Visualization and Analysis Software.



The CMRF recently installed a custom-built workstation to run its copy of Bitplane’s Imaris 3D and 4D Real-time Interactive Visualization and Analysis Software. Specifications of this high-end workstation include:

  • 128GB DDR4 RAM
  • 8-core Intel i7 Skylake CPU
  • 8GB DDR5 video display card with over 2,000 CUDA processing cores
  • All solid state hard drives


With just a few steps, Imaris delivers quantitative volumetric and motion-analysis results. Custom Imaris modules are available for neuroscience, (e.g. dendrite and spine analysis,) and co-localization studies. Other available features include:

  • Imaris Measurement Pro: Shape, size and intensity-based quantification.
  • Imaris Track: Imaging, tracking and motion analysis of live cells and moving objects in 2D and 3D.
  • Imaris Filament Tracer: Automatic detection of neurons (dendritic trees, axons and spines,) microtubules, and other filament-like structures in 2D, 3D and 4D.
  • Imaris Coloc: Quantify and document co-distribution of multiple stained biological components.
  • Imaris Cell: Quantitatively examine micro relationships that exist within and between cells.
  • Imaris Vantage: Compare and contrast experimental groups by visualizing image data in five dimensions as uni- or multi-variate scatterplots.


New High-Resolution Iridium Sputter Coater Available!

The CMRF has purchased a Quorum Technologies 150T ES Iridium sputter coater to support high-resolution SEM imaging. It is capable of producing coatings that are much thinner than standard Au/Pd sputter coating, which can result in higher-resolution images. The QT 150T ES is the ideal coating system for routine imaging above 50,000x. Contact CMRF staff if you are interested in using this instrument.

Office of Research and Economic Development article on the 2016 Art in Science Contest


CMRF Staff are available  Monday through Friday 8am-5pm and will be happy to assist you! Call 335-8142 or email Randy Nessler for more information.