The Multi-Scale Imaging Facility (MuSIF) includes a broad set of microscopes and instruments, allowing imaging from macro to nanometer scale, as well as the 3D reconstruction of complex tissues. The MuSIF also includes a helical, high-resolution macro CT scanner allowing for the sequential, non-destructive observation of whole structures.
While the Multi-Scale Imaging Facility (MuSIF) serves scientists from different backgrounds, it distinguishes itself from other imaging cores through its specialized expertise in plant and agriculture related imaging - the only facility in Eastern Canada with this special dedication. Expertise ranges from the model plant Arabidopsis in the Petri dish to field crops, from fungal plant pathogens to tree stems.
The particular challenges associated with plant and fungal samples arise from the wide range of autofluorescent components (cell wall, plastids, phenolic compounds…etc.), the intra-sample variability of anatomical features and material stiffness, physiological conditions and chemical composition, the low permeability compared to animal cells, as well as the seasonal availability of some sample types. The MuSIF personnel has expertise in plant functioning, physiology and anatomy which allows the team to provide users with expert advice required for the appropriate preparation, imaging and analysis of their samples. While this plant-focused expertise makes the facility unique, the users come from a much wider range of disciplines including animal and human biology, parasitology, bio-material science and food science.
The mission and purpose of MuSIF can be summarized as follows:
- Coordinated availability of high-quality equipment to researchers and graduate students
- Ensuring maintenance and updates of equipment
- Optimal use of taxpayer money by ensuring that additional equipment is not redundant but complementary to existing equipment and ensuring longevity of instrumentation
- Training opportunities through one-on-one hands-on training and workshops
- Expert advice to internal and external users on experiment design and execution
- Expert advice to PIs on grant proposals and procurement of equipment