Light microscopy

The Light Microscopy and Imaging Network, provides an individual point of contact for the microscopy and imaging needs within the KU Leuven life sciences community.

COVID-19 measures

We implemented extra safety measures at our facility


To provide the infrastructure for a flourishing imaging and microscopy culture in our department, an imaging core was put into place. This initiative, the Light Microscopy and Imaging Network, provides an individual point of contact for the microscopy and imaging needs within the KU Leuven life sciences community.

One of the goals of LiMoNe is to foster collaborations and connect people to concatenate their expertise. Apart from this management role, LiMoNe has the ambition to proactively initiate projects and research lines. With this comes the service of training users, exploring new possibilities, providing tools for analysis and enabling the researchers in the department to conduct state of the art microscopy and imaging. Another unique aspect of LiMoNe is that it is a virtual and open-ended initiative grouping people from different backgrounds. As such, LiMoNe helps to accumulate and share knowledge within the Flemish life sciences community.

The equipment itself is housed in individual laboratories close to the researchers that use it the most. Use of the equipment however is organized centrally and a usage fee is charged. This covers maintenance contracts and usage of the devices ensuring the devices keep running.

LiMoNe, part of the Bio Imaging Core

High resolution, high quality Bio Imaging is expected to become increasingly important in frontline life science research. For this reason, the VIB Strategic Plan for 2012-2016 anticipants a major thrust over the coming years towards developing a state of the art imaging platform at VIB, with high end equipment and professional expertise.

This plan has been boosted by a generous grant of €3 M from the Flemish government to VIB, to develop CLEM: Correlative Light Electron Microscopy. The CLEM grant enabled VIB to start up an institutional Bio Imaging Core facility.

The Bio Imaging Core is a dual site facility with platforms in Ghent and Leuven and serves both academic and industrial life sciences community.

The leuven platform travels in time and studies very fast dynamic processes in single cells. The Ghent platform travels in space and studies complete three-dimensional information on whole tissue samples.

Check out the websites of our partners


Superresolution microscopes

Confocal microscopes

Under construction

Under construction

An overview of all of our scopes will be added soon!

Terms of use

The network is open for all members of VIB Center for Brain & Disease Research. KU Leuven members and partners are welcome, however, please refer to the pricing section for details.

It is self evident that the equipment is handled with care and that problems are reported to ensure the most performative running of all systems.

For usage of a particular device please refer to its respective contact person (see equipment).

1. Training

Before getting access to any specific instrument, users should receive training by the facility staff before initiating equipment operation by themselves. The user may only sign up for instruments for which they have been formally trained on or authorized to use after demonstrated expertise.

2. Reservations and Cancellations

All reservations should be made by using the online-reservation system.
If a user is found to use an instrument during an unscheduled time, or significantly beyond the scheduled time without notifying the core facility staff, the user’s lab will be responsible for instrument charges incurred, the PI will be notified.
Cancellation during the scheduled time slot is not possible by the user, and has to be discussed with the core facility. In case of a no-show or no advanced notification, the user will be charged for the reserved time slot.

3. Responsibility for Equipment Misuse

If equipment is damaged due to improper and negligent use, the P.I. is responsible for part or all of repair costs.

4. Data storage

All users are responsible for storage and backup of their own data. It is recommended to store your data on the L drive. The L drive and Omero are provided by KULeuven and BIC Leuven for image storage and management. All raw data on the hard drive of the microscopes will be deleted without warning after six months. In case an extension to this period is required, the facility manager should be informed timely.

5. Acknowledgements

In case data, collected from the Bio-Imaging Core equipment, is used in publications, the Bio-Imaging Core needs to be acknowledged. Please check on the website at the equipment tab for device specific acknowledgement requirements.


The online booking system can be found here under BioImaging core - Leuven. The usage fee is based on the amount of time you book. This means that your lab will be charged for the booked time you do not use. You can still cancel or edit your booking few minutes before the actual reservation time.

Due to the heavy usage and to grant many people access, some devices cannot be booked more than certain hours per day/week (see individual booking page).

Please note that for the equipment an initial training is required.


In order to provide a more fair pricing system for the usage of the microscopes than the global budget, a usage fee is charged. This covers maintenance contracts and usage of the devices/lasers ensuring the devices keep running. This cost depends on the device and its utilization.

The usage fee is based on the amount of time you book. This means that your lab will be charged for the booked time you don't use.

Meat the team


Expert research informatics
VIB Bioinformatics Core

Extra safety measures

Hand disinfection

Please disinfect/wash your hands regularly. Especially before touching the microscopes and before leaving the room. Wearing gloves is allowed, though not obliged (in case you like to wear gloves, please use a fresh pair before entering the room and disinfect regularly).

We will make hand sanitizers and a jerrycan with WHO grade handrub more available (currently some deliveries are pending) so the sanitizers can be refilled.

Face masks

Face masks are not obliged in the microscopy rooms. At this moment we would like to refer to the instructions of the center. As communicated recently, you can pick up a washable/reusable face mask in the central admin office.

Limited room occupancy

Since space is limiting in most of the microscopy rooms, we only allow a few devices to be used in parallel to ensure a distance of 1,5m between users.

This means that we have special restrictions for the rooms listed below:

06.107 (Nikon N-SIMS / Nikon SlideExpress / Zeiss LSM710 / Olympus stereo). Here only two devices can be used in parallel (Running the slide scanner unsupervised is possible, please check).

07.107 (Nikon C2 / Operetta / PALM / Zeiss Airyscan). Only two devices can be used in parallel. Please check the booking.

07.102 (Zeiss upright / Zeiss BH Colibri / Olympus Cell^R / Olympus CB). Only two devices can be used in parallel. Please check the booking.

07.401 (Zeiss SIM / Nikon sp-disk / Leica SP5 / Nikon A1R). Only three devices can be used in parallel. Using the SIM and the Spinning disk in parallel should be avoided. Please check the booking.

15-min break between sessions

To prevent people from meeting at the scopes, we are asking to leave a 15min gap/break between one another. Keep this in mind when booking a system.

Social distancing

In order to respect the rules for social distancing, it's evident that we only allow 1 person/microscope/session.

Analysis PCs

From now on analysis PCs can only be used remotely. Please contact us in case you would like to request remote access to one or multiple of our analysis PCs. Several of our analysis software solutions provide temporary licenses for working at home, so please contact us in case you are interested.

Instrument disinfection

We provide cling-wrap to cover sensitive parts of the microscope, including keyboards, joysticks, and eyepieces. Please consider using the software for focusing. Cling-wrap, is available in the microscopy rooms and at our desk.

At the end of your session, remove the cling wrap. The instrument cleaning liquid can be used on non-sensitive parts.  


For the moment, all training and teaching activities are postponed since social distancing is almost impossible to maintain during our training sessions.