Biological Imaging Center

The Biological Imaging Center in the Department of Biological Studies at Western Michigan University offers:

  • University-wide undergraduate and graduate student instruction.
  • A basic research program incorporated in the area of host and parasite relationships that includes both bench research and international monitoring of human health.
  • Comprehensive scientific and technical expertise both University-wide and to our collaborators in the industrial community.

Institution profile

The Biological Imaging Center is a core facility within the College of Arts and Sciences. The imaging center:

  • Includes a basic research program.
  • Offers educational programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Provides comprehensive scientific and technical expertise for both University-wide and external grants and contracts.

The vast majority of our outside services are centered on providing professional and technical expertise for improving human health. This includes:

  • Working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in monitoring the efficacy of drug treatment in patients who suffer from lymphatic filariasis and river blindness (onchocerciasis).
  • Providing electron microscope imaging for local hospitals to improve diagnosis and treatment of patients with kidney problems.
  • Working with the pharmaceutical industry by providing data at the cellular level on new drug safety and efficacy prior to their use in humans.
  • Providing a vast array of imaging services to all areas of research and industry. We have found drill holes in dental implants, performed failure analysis on anything from pumps to sun visors and have sized sugar particles for the food industry. We have light microscopes capable of every contrast mode and equipped with the highest resolution lenses. All of our equipment has digital image capture capability providing both rapid access to hard copy and Internet transfer of images. Our latest addition to photonic imaging is a state-of-the-art laser scanning confocal microscope which combines laser illumination with computer analysis to allow for three-dimensional imaging in tissues, cells and even semi-opaque samples like polymers.
  • Offering the highest magnifications possible for many types of samples using transmission and scanning electron microscopes. The scanning electron microscope includes an elemental analysis and mapping system for determining the atomic makeup of an unknown sample.
  • Performing under the federal guidelines for good laboratory practice to assure proper tracking of specimens and data in all our work.