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Microimaging Core


The VA/VMRF Microimaging Core is a recharge core with services, equipment, and personnel available for use by the research community. Based in San Diego, California at the Jennifer Moreno Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (JMVAMC) and affiliated with both the Veterans Medical Research Foundation and the University of California San Diego, the VA/VMRF Microimaging Core offers histology and microimaging services, equipment, and expertise for a wide range of research applications.



Paraffin embedding and sectioning

The VA/VMRF Microimaging Core can embed, section, and process your tissue utilizing a customizable array of equipment and procedures to suit your tissue needs.

Whole-slide and targeted imaging


After cutting and staining, the VA/VMRF Microimaging Core can scan all your slides in their entirety at high resolution (up to 40x objective) using a Zeiss slide scanner. Or, for more targeted imaging, the VA/VMRF Microimaging Core can take photographs (transmitted or fluorescent) of your regions of interest.


Click on the names of the equipment from the list below for more information:

Vibratome - Leica biosystems VT1000 S
-    For precise sectioning of fresh tissue specimens to maintain morphology, enzyme activity, and cell viability of tissue

Laser Microdissection (LMD) System - Leica LMD 7000

-    Extremely precise, highly selective laser microdissection sample preparation 
-    Performs sample preparation for molecular biology analysis directly from the tissue section using a UV laser

Paraffin Embedding Center – Leica EG1160 

-    Ensures constant, reproducible paraffin flow, along with temperature programming for work surfaces and reservoirs

Tissue Processor - Leica TP1020

-    Automatic tissue processor that features gentle specimen processing and consolidated tissue safety considerations at every step of the processing run

Slide Scanner - Zeiss Axio Scan.Z1 

-    Fast, reliable slide scanner to create high quality virtual slides of brightfield and fluorescence images

Preclinical MRI - Bruker Biospec 3T

-    8.2 cm inner diameter RF coil for large rat studies, complete with a motorized animal positioning system for routine handling and increased throughput with automated multistage, whole-body imaging.
-    Over 100 validated and ready-to-use in vivo protocols and scan programs for mice and rats, this high-resolution imaging instrument will provide clear in-vivo images for your studies.

MicroCT Scanner – TriFoil eXplore CT 120

-    High-throughput (1-15 min/scan) microCT scanner for in vivo imaging of small animals 

Benchtop X-ray MicroCT Scanner- Bruker SKYSCAN 1174

-    Benchtop microCT scanner for ex vivo imaging of target specimens

Preclinical Optical Imaging System - IVIS Spectrum 

-    Combines 2D optical and 3D optical tomography into one platform 
-    High sensitivity in vivo fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging 

Ultra High Frequency Ultrasound Imaging System – Fujifilm Visualsonics VevoMD

-    Highest resolution diagnostic ultrasound available today. Range of highly advanced UHF Series Transducers
-    Imaging modes: 2D, M-Mode, Color doppler, Power Doppler, Pulsed-Wave Doppler


Microimaging Core Equipment



The Microimaging Core Facility is located in the west wing of the 6th floor of JMVAMC at 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161. 
For information, to make an order, or to set up a training appointment, please contact someone from the team below:

Qingbo Tang


The Microimaging Core technicians and principal investigators are available to meet with users to assist in finetuning critical details of the research requirements and coordinating the method of preparation. 

Users are welcome to choose between the following two options: 1) to have staff provide full service (with applicable hourly technician charge) or 2) to coordinate a prerequisite training session so that users may operate equipment themselves.

We ask that all users of this facility be respectful of others’ schedules. Please arrive to your appointment on time and conclude your session by transferring your images before the next user’s appointment begins. If you will be late for your appointment, please contact the Core

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