Policy & Practice


The confocal microscope is housed in 506 Masonic Cancer Research Building (MCRB) (formerly named Cancer Center Research Building - CCRB) in a secured room. In order to get in you will need to have ID card access.

  1. Fill out the access form with user information, proof of Hazardous Chemical Waste Training, and ID card number,
  2. Turn in to the confocal operations manager (Haylie, helms057@umn.edu),
  3. Complete advanced training course given by Leeds Microscope or otherwise demonstrate familiarity with the FV500 system.

Sign up using the online reservation schedule. Reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you must cancel, do so in advance.

If you are more than 15 minutes late for your reserved time, you forfeit that time if someone else is waiting.

Report any problems in the "comments" column of the sign-in/out log, add a note to the event in the online calendar and inform Haylie (612-625-5603, helms057@umn.edu), so the problem can be addressed and service can be scheduled.

Scheduled maintenance has priority sign-up, but you will have ample notification in the reservation schedule.

From time to time, information will need to be passed on to the PIs and/or user. This will most often be by e-mail. It is therefore important to have your e-mail address and a contact phone number on file.


Users must provide documentation of Hazardous Chemical Waste Training to the confocal administrator. Hazardous Chemical Waste Training is required for all Cancer Center access and needs to be updated annually.

It is recommended that users have Blood Borne Pathogen training. Users must take appropriate precautions when working with human-derived samples or transfected animal tissues. Formalin fixation does not guarantee decontamination.

Samples containing biohazardous material(s), e.g. human-derived tissue or retrovirus, must be noted in the sign-in/out log.

Users must dispose of their samples in their own laboratory.

Absolutely no eating or drinking is allowed in the confocal microscope room (506 CCRB).

Although safety measures are in place to protect personnel from the potential hazards associated with the use of high energy lasers, under no circumstances are the covers to the laser housings to be removed, except by authorized service personnel.


When you are finished, lower stage and wipe objectives clean of oil with lens paper and clean stage of any oil, glass chips, or mounting media.

Change the objective to 4x when you finish and return the stage to non-escaped (up) position.

If someone is waiting to use the confocal, leave the automated components (BX-UCB and stage controller power supply) on.


If someone is waiting to use the confocal, leave the laser(s) on.

Only turn on the laser(s) you need, not all of them, to save the tube life. (See dye list for laser used.)


There are two computers, one attached to the FV500 confocal system for acquisition and one workstation for analysis. Neither computer is on the network and there is and will be no Internet access to these computers. If people are waiting to acquire data, users should move to the second station to perform analysis.

Access to the computer is by secure log-in (by PI and PW). Access to the Fluoview program is by PI UN and will open the last settings used by that PI.

When finished you must:

  1. exit the Fluoview program
  2. transfer your data files to removable storage
  3. log out of your session on the computer and 4) shut down the computer if there is no one signed up after you.

Data storage

Each PI is assigned 1.5 GB on the FV500 computer and 5 GB on the workstation. You are responsible for maintaining your own section of the hard drive, no more space will be allocated. Data files more than 1 month old will be purged on a regular basis by the administrator, so delete your files as they are backed up.

It is suggested that only instrument setting and user profiles be stored on the FV500 computer hard drive and only the most current data on the workstation.

Data files should be archived on zip disk (100 or 250 MB), CD-R or DVD-R when acquisition and/or analysis is completed.


This instrument was purchased through an NCRR Shared instrumentation grant and should be acknowledged in any publications. The following statement is suggested: "We would like to acknowledge the use of confocal microscope made available through an NCRR Shared Instrumentation Grant (#1 S10 RR16851)."

Please provide a reprint of the paper so we can have it on file for our report.

Equitable usage

It is crucial that all users complete the sign-in/out log whenever using the confocal system (blue folder on workstation desk).

The usage log will be used to compile report(s) to the funding agency.

The advisory committee will meet twice a year to make, review, and update policy. It will also evaluate any problems and financial decisions.