Zebrafish Facility

The SCB core facility houses Danio rerio (zebrafish) for research in chemical biology and drug discovery. In contrast to more expensive rodent models, the optical transparency of these animals make them more amenable to a wide variety of fluorescence-based assays. The imaging equipment of the KU-MPC includes a Zeiss Axio Zoom.V16 stereomicroscope (11x-412x magnification) equipped with a Hamamatsu Orca Flash 4.0 CMOS camera and Sutter DG4 fast filter switching illumination system for ratiometric and other fluorescence-based assays. This system is combined with a sensitive and tunable microinjection platform that allows for delivery and imaging of virtually any fluorescent molecule in vivo. The core further offers on-site housing of strains of adult zebrafish, mammalian cell culture services for drug screening and cancer biology studies, and cryopreservation of cell lines. By establishing robust breeding protocols, the KU-MPC can generate large numbers of zebrafish embryos for phenotypic screening and discovery toxicology projects.  Investigators are encouraged to contact us for free consultation.

zebrafish Phenotypic Screening


Key Equipment

Axio Zoom

Zeiss Axio Zoom. V16 motorized fluorescence stereo zoom microscope

The Zeiss Axio Zoom.V16 is a sensitive and robust imaging platform optimized for observing fluorescent molecules in model organisms in vivo.  For high resolution imaging applications, the V16 combines a 16x optical zoom with high numerical aperture (NA) of 0.25. In the KU MPC, this system includes a Hamamatsu Orca Flash 4.0 CMOS camera for image and video acquisition. In addition, this system is outfitted with a broad spectrum of excitation and emission filters that allow detection of virtually any fluorophore. The Zen software and automated functions allow the V16 to capture images over time or acquire time-lapse movies.  These features make the V16 an ideal system for imaging of fluorescent probes and proteins in C. elegans and zebrafish.



Sutter Instruments Lambda DG-4 Pluse Ultra High Speed Wavelength Switcher

The Lambda DG-4 light source, designed to interface with high resolution imaging platforms, offers users the ability to rapidly toggle between excitation wavelengths. The DG4 retains all the advantages of interference filter based systems, yet eliminates the temporal constraints imposed by traditional filter changing devices such as filter wheels.  Operating in tandem with the Axio Zoom.V16 microscope, wavelength switching can be achieved in less than 1.2 milliseconds, allowing users to perform real-time ratiometric video imaging experiments and observe multiple fluorescent probes essentially simultaneously.



Penatair Aquatic Habitats ZF0601 Zebrafish Habitat System

The Z-Hab ZF0601 is a self contained zebrafish ecosystem.  It features precise temperature control, ultraviolet water sterilization, and timed system water exchange to maintain high water quality.  The zebrafish habitat of the KU MPC is capable of housing 3000 adult fish, and many more embryos and larvae, and it's open layout allows easy access to tanks for feeding and cleaning.  Specialized breeding tanks allow maximum embryo production and facilitate embryo collection.  By housing a combination of 1 and 3 liter tanks, multiple independent strains of fish can be maintained in parallel without risk of cross-contamination. To prevent system failure due to evaporation or leakage, the ZF0601 includes a low water sensor designed to shut down the circulation pumps if water flow is restricted. Staff of the MPC are approved by the KU IACUC to conduct a wide range of assays in embryonic, juvenile, and adult zebrafish.

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