The Biochemistry Optical Core (BOC) provides state-of-the-art instrumentation for light and fluorescence based microscopy, including epifluorescence, confocal, and super-resolution imaging. Established by a faculty-approved investment from the Department of Biochemistry Endowment, our goal is to serve the campus research community by providing access to and training on basic and advanced light microscopy techniques.  Expertise and advice is available for the design of experiments involving these techniques.  

Open to All Academic and Industrial Researchers

Available Equipment Include

Nikon A1R-Si+ Confocal Microscope

Nikon STORM/TIRF/epifluorescence Microscope

Nikon SIM (Structured Illumination Microscope)

Offline Nikon Elements Analysis Stations





New Computer installed on the N-STORM system

Additional Offline Image Analysis Workstation Available for use


"(Microscopy) was performed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Biochemistry Optical Core, which was established with support from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Biochemistry Endowment"

Imaging techniques available include:

Standard wide-field fluorescence

Scanning Confocal

Live Cell Imaging



Photoactivation uncaging


Super- Resolution Microscopy (STORM/PALM; SIM)

Fluorescence spectral detection

Single molecule imaging

3D particle tracking


Calcium imaging

Image Analysis Workstations

High resolution image of actin

N-SIM 3D reconstruction: dense core vesicles (green) actin (red) --- Image courtesy of Elle Grevstad

High resolution image of yfp

Confocal imaging of biofilms: Pseudomonas aeruginosa (yellow) Escherichia coli (cyan) --- Image courtesy of Katie Brenner (Weibel Lab)

High resolution image of c. elegans

N-SIM 3D reconstruction C.elegan gonad --- Image courtesy of Kim Haupt (Kimble Lab)

High resolution image of actin

N-SIM image of actin: depth coding --- Image courtesy of Elle Grevstad

High resolution image of Mio

Confocal Spectral Imaging: Cos-1 cells, experimental cell tracker --- Image courtesy of Elle Grevstad