CSSB Centre for Structural Systems Biology
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Advanced Light and Fluorescence Microscopy

  • State-of-the-art light and fluorescence microscopes
  • Focus on live cell and correlative light and electron cryo-microscopy


Email the ALFM Facility


Available Instruments

- Leica SP8 confocal microscope
- Leica SR GSD 3D super-resolution microscope
- Leica CryoCLEM
- Leica DMi8 inverted wide field imaging system #1 (high-end)
- Leica DMi8 inverted wide field imaging system #2 (routine)
- Leica DM6 B upright wide field imaging system #1 (high-end)
- Leica DM6 B upright wide field imaging system #2 (routine)
- Leica M125 C stereo microscope
- Nikon Eclipse Ti2-E equipped with spinning disc unit and N-SIM unit

All microscopes can be used at biosafety level S2.


The goal of the ALFM facility is to support researchers as efficiently as possible for light microscopy and correlative light and electron (cryo-) microscopy projects, and to offer them advanced imaging equipment.

According to the need of the users, we offer different levels of support:

  • Independent use of instruments after training
  • Accompanying support for imaging projects
  • Collaborative development and implementation of imaging project

In addition, we support researchers with image processing and image analysis.

Upon request, users of the facility can also access the laboratory space near the microscopes for sample preparation and mammalian cell culture, which is equipped with:

  • lab work benches
  • safety cabinets
  • CO2 incubators


Further information

Advanced light and fluorescence microscopy (ALFM) is a key methodology for studying the function of cellular and macromolecular processes. It provides specific multidimensional information in vivo and in vitro, which is crucial to understand life and is also proven to be particularly powerful within the context of analysing infections, especially host-pathogen interactions. ALFM enables researchers to capture quantitative, spatio-temporal data on structural organization and its coupled functions, thus making it one of the central techniques in cell, infection, structural and systems biology. Altogether, the ALFM core facility is a key element in CSSB’s mission towards integrated imaging in structural systems biology. Given the exciting developments in super-resolution imaging, the gap to other microscopies, particularly electron microscopy, but also X-ray imaging, is about to be closed. The ALFM Facility develops in close collaboration with the CSSB cryo-EM facility workflows for correlative light and electron cryo-microscopy.

Access & Team


The user community of the ALFM facility consists of researchers from CSSB, its partners, and other academic research groups. For new users, a meeting will be arranged with the facility staff in order to discuss the project and access to the facility. If you have any questions please contact us at alfm@cssb-hamburg.de. Booking of instruments is managed online (Link to booking system coming shortly).

How to acknowledge the ALFM facility in publications:

We kindly ask our users to acknowledge our facility in publications containing data that were acquired or analysed in the ALFM facility. The text below can be used as template:

We thank the Advanced Light and Fluorescence Microscopy (ALFM) facility at the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB), in particular XXX, for support with light microscopy image recording and analysis.




Scientific Facility Director

Kay Grünewald


Scientific Facility Director

Tim Gilberger



CSSB Centre for Structural Systems Biology
c/o Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Notkestraße 85, Building 15
D-22607 Hamburg

Facility Operators: Universität Hamburg (UHH), Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology (HPI), and Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM)