Advanced Microscopy Facility (AMF)

The Advanced Microscopy Facility (AMF) provides resources, equipment and services for:

  • Sample Preparation for Light Microscopy, Transmission and Scanning Electron Microscopy, and Histology
  • Light Microscopy: Bright-Field, DIC, Fluorescence
  • Paraffin Histology for Light Microscopy
  • Plastic Sectioning for Light Microscopy
  • Ultra-thin Plastic Sectioning for Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Confocal Microscopy (LSCM)
  • Electron Microscopy (SEM, TEM)
  • Individualized training in microscopy techniques and equipment use

The sample preparation equipment available for client use includes:

  • Leica TP1020 Tissue Processor for the preparation of Paraffin Embedded Tissues
  • Microtome for Paraffin sectioning (Leica RM 2125)
  • Microtome for Paraffin and JB-4 sectioning (Leica RM 2235)
  • Ultra-microtome for TEM sectioning – (Reichert UltraCut E)
  • Fume hoods are available for sample processing and slide/section staining
  • Frozen sectioning (Tissue-Tek II Cryostat)
  • Ovens for drying and curing resin
  • Knifemakers
  • Knife sharper (AO steel knife sharpener)
  • Sputter Coater, Hummer 6.2
  • Basic compound and dissecting light microscopes are available in addition to high quality microscopes with digital cameras (see Imaging Equipment).

Resources, equipment and services are available to University of Alberta and external clients.

Please see our general policies, safety policy, user fees, and imaging equipment list for more information about AMF services.

General Policies

Data: The AMF is not responsible for data generated by clients. Data storage and safekeeping is the responsibility of the end user. Data older than six months will be deleted from AMF computers.

Training: Clients may not use equipment until they have been properly trained.

Confocal: For confocal training contact Enrico Scarpella, ( to set up a time for the initial training session. Once trained, you may book online.

Cancellations: To cancel or modify your equipment bookings, contact Arlene Oatway ( No charge will be applied for bookings cancelled at least 24 hours in advance or due to circumstances beyond the user's control. Failure to show up without explanation will result in being charged for the entire booked time slot.

Safety: Please familiarize yourself with the microscopy safety policy below. Failure to follow safety protocols may result in losing access to the AMF.

User agreement: Please print the User Agreement Checklist (PDF, 121kb), get appropriate signatures and a speed code and return it to the AMF before starting projects.

Safety Policy

Clients are strongly advised to read and understand University of Alberta EHS policies and emergency procedures.

Client PPE Checklist: Please print the PPE Checklist (PDF, 162kb), sign, and return it to the AMF before starting projects

User Fees

These fees are per hour except for the Confocal Training which is a flat rate that covers an initial training session of one to two hours.


Biological Sciences

Univ. of Alberta






Confocal Training








Light Microscopes




A speedcode is the preferred method of payment but an invoice may be issued for an additional administration fee. GST may apply to some clients.

There is no charge for use of the stand-alone computer workstations with Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office. The usage of consumables and services is recorded in various log books for billing purposes.

There is a set fee for other services such as sample processing and sectioning, etc. The details of these costs are available upon request. Unique projects may require cost calculations and projections. For these special applications please contact Arlene Oatway ( for a quote.

AMF Imaging Equipment