VIB Bioimaging Core

High resolution, high quality Bio Imaging is increasingly important in frontline life science research. For this reason, VIB created in 2012 a multi-site core facility for state-of-the-art microscopy equipped with over € 10 M of high-end equipment and 14 expert staff members.

The VIB Bioimaging Core has specialist instrumentation for both light and electron microscopy and are developing Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM) approaches to answer complex biological questions. The cores have a diverse instrument base providing the most suitable instrumentation for any imaging need.

The VIB Bioimaging Core is a dual site facility with platforms in Ghent and Leuven and serves both academic and industrial life sciences community. The Ghent platform uses high resolution light and electron microscopy to look into cells and tissues in three dimensions. The Leuven platform travels in time and studies ‘very fast’ dynamic processes in single cells.

The Electron Microscopy Platform in Leuven is associated to the VIB Bioimaging Core.

The Gent platform is embedded in the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research.

The Leuven platform is embedded in the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research.


The Leuven platform

Mouse embryonic fibroblast cell lineThe Leuven center owns a spinning disk confocal microscope and a Structured Illumination confocal Microscope (SIM), complementing the open access equipment. The spinning disk confocal microscope is a powerful tool for the rapid spatial and temporal imaging of living cells. It permits
imaging of living cells on the millisecond timescale to reveal intricate biological dynamics. SIM is a technique that can improve the resolution of a fluorescence light microscope by a factor of two in x, y and z.

In addition, the unit is equipped with high pressure freezing equipment for rapid transfer and freezing of samples, which allows a handshake between the Light Microscopy (LM) and the existing Electron Microscopy (EM) platform which consists of two high performance TEMs, a SEM and preparatory devices. With this new equipment the transition from LM to EM is easy and gives a complete picture of dynamic subcellular organization at nanometer resolution.

The Ghent platform

Confocal micrograph of Paneth cells in the small intestineRecently Electron Microscopy (EM) has gone from 2D to 3D capabilities. At the Ghent unit, we will elaborate on the technological advancements to develop 3D Correlative Light Electron Microscopy (CLEM). This unique technology that bridges the gap between EM and Light Microscopy (LM) will be a real game changer for cell biology research.

In addition to CLEM, the unit is at the forefront of advanced imaging techniques with high resolution confocal microscopes, TIRF, FRET/FLIM and two scanning electron microscopes, equipped for serial block face imaging. In addition, there is a computing center and a wet lab for specimen preparation with an integrated state-of-the-art flow cytometry core next door.

VIB Bio Image Library

The Bio Imaging Core also collects and manages pictures submitted by VIB scientists.

As a scientist collecting data, you frequently produce many images that never see
publication but are worthwhile on their own. Therefore VIB has established a library
to give a good home to your extra images. These images can be used internally for
communication purposes but will also be licensed for other uses through a
collaborative arrangement with the Science Photo Library (SPL), leading provider of
scientific images to the general public. SPL will market the images for use in
textbooks, scientific communication (newspapers, TV, etc.) and even “artistic” uses
such as CD covers!

Once a year we will organize a reception for all contributors and display the best
images as chosen by popular vote. The top images will receive a nice prize.

Do you want to store your images in the VIB Bio Image Library?

Simply send them to:

  • Chris Guérin - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pricing Platforms

1: technical assistance core staff costs a surplus of 75 €/h
2: technical assistance core staff obligatory and included
Confocal devices (category A) 22.5 €/h 65 €/h1 190 €/h2
Confocal devices (category B) 37.5 €/h 110 €/h1 265 €/h2
Serial block face (Gatan 3View and FIB) 410 €/sample 2430 €/sample 4265 €/sample
SEM & TEM 55 €/h 400 €/h 700 €/h
Image processing free 70 €/h 120 €/h
Storage - Confocal data set 27.5 € n.a. n.a.
Storage - Time lapse or spinning disk 70 € n.a. n.a.
Storage - 3D EM 140 € n.a. n.a.





Our team consists of the following members:

The Ghent platform

The Leuven platform


The Ghent platform

VIB Bioimaging Core
UGent-VIB Research Building FSVM
Technologiepark 927
9052 Zwijnaarde - Belgium

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: +32 (0)9 331 35 70

Fax: +32 (0)9 331 36 09

The Leuven platform

VIB Bioimaging Core
Campus Gasthuisberg
Herestraat 49, bus 602
3000 Leuven - Belgium

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: +32 (0)16 33 04 60

Fax: +32 (0)16 33 08 27