The Washington University School of Medicine In Vivo Imaging Core (IVIC) is made possible through the generous support of the Departments of Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pathology and Immunology, as well as others.  The core’s purpose is to make in vivo two-photon imaging and multidimensional data analysis widely available to WUSM researchers.  The IVIC is operated as a recharge center to recover the cost of staff salaries, equipment and materials.

The growing popularity of two-photon microscopy in the fields of cell biology, immunology and microbiology is in large part due to its unrivaled ability to image single-cell dynamics in native 3D tissue environments.  Studying the behavior of individual cells is vital for understanding complex cellular systems, since many physiological processes are rare, asynchronous and tissue context dependent. With the appropriate fluorescence reporters, two-photon imaging can also serve as an in vivo assay for many aspects of cell activation and function, including motility, chemotaxis, antigen recognition, calcium influx, gene expression, proliferation, phagocytosis, cell-mediated cytotoxicity and apoptosis.