Research department

Microscopy CORE Lab

The Microscopy CORE Lab is an Open Research and Education platform in the field of microscopy and collaborates with both internal and external research groups. Internal scientists are from Maastricht University (UM) and/or the Maastricht University Medical Center+ (MUMC+) whereas external scientists typically belong to other universities, research centers and/or private companies.

Advanced Light and Electron Microscopy

Lung Organoid imaged by spinning disk microscopy

The MCL provides advanced light and electron microscopy (LM & EM, respectively) imaging techniques, including confocal microscopy, long-term in vivo imaging, super-resolution stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, multi-photon (intravital) microscopy, fluorescence lifetime and spectroscopy imaging. Furthermore,  scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM & TEM, respectively), electron tomography, and correlative light- and electron microscopy (CLEM) can all be performed at our facility. The MCL enables studies at both room temperature and under cryogenic conditions.

Microscopy CORE Lab @ M4I Nanoscopy FHML

Workflow of Nanoscopy

The MCL is embedded within the M4I Institute, shares instrumentation and expertise, and collaborates for the use of the most advanced techniques in cryo-LM and cryo-EM, e.g. spinning disk cryo-LM, cryo-electron tomography and single particle analysis (SPA), cryo-CLEM, and focused ion beam milling (FIB)-SEM at cryogenic conditions. This inclusion ensures high interdependency on microscopy developments, establishing relevant protocols and procedures, providing scientific and technical consulting, and teaching/training students and researchers. These existing tight collaborations with microscopy experts facilitate continuous excellence and upgrades of our facilities.

In addition, the MCL closely collaborates with the neighboring Instrument Development Engineering & Evaluation (IDEE) facility to develop and implement new sample preparation, imaging instrumentation and technologies, and, with Enabling Technologies to facilitate high-end light and electron microscopes.

Mission and Vision


The MCL specializes in advanced light microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, and correlative light and electron microscopy using classical and cryo-methods in sample preparation and analysis. The MCL results from and operates under the CORE (Collaborative Open Research & Education) philosophy of our university. We collaborate with scientists towards their research goals in our advanced microscopy training center. We assist in the implementation of both traditional and novel technologies related to microscopy imaging. Finally, the MCL actively participates in the UM education program and collaborates with the UM community as well as with external academic and biotech partners. We organize international courses to train students and scientists in advanced (cryo-) microscopy, i.e. LM, CLEM and advanced EM methods. We prioritize education by offering individualized support, training and courses for all users, from inexperienced students to mature researchers.