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Biochemical Imaging Centre Umeå (BICU)

BICU logo

The national centre for advanced fluorescence imaging, called The Biochemical Imaging Centre Umeå (BICU), was founded with support from the Swedish Research Council in order to establish a node of excellence for fluorescence super-resolution and live cell imaging. The centre includes equipment for combined use of different advanced imaging techniques to visualise the same sample in multiple ways.

Nikon A1R webThe instrumentation includes a spinning disk microscope, for extremely high-speed live cell imaging and a confocal microscope with resonant scanner. Both microscopes are fully equipped for photo-bleaching (FRAP) and photo-quenching (FRET) experiments and TIRF (total internal reflection fluorescence) microscopy. The equipment is completed with a STORM-unit that allows super-resolution imaging of structures and micromanipulators down to 20nm.

The facility is also equipped with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) that provides high resolution and force measurements to test specific interactions between the biological molecules in their natural environment and enables to get insight into the geometry, elasticity and dynamic behavior at the level of single molecules or single cells.

Complementary to the imaging instruments, the centre provides equipment for precise affinity measurements on surfaces or in solution using Surface Plasmon Resonance, Ligand-tracer and Isothermal Titration Calorimetry.

BICU closely collaborates with the Umeå Core Facility for Electron Microscopy, UCEM, to provide correlative imaging technology (techniques, methods and know-how) and an optimal workflow for CLEM (Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy). Both infrastructures are driving forces in the Swedish National Microscopy Infrastructure (NMI).

The organization:

Richard Lundmark, assoc. prof This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facility Manager:
Irene Martinez, PhD This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Host department:
Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, KBC, Umeå Universitet

Detailed information on the Webpage of the Biochemical Imaging Centre Umeå, BICU


Emmanuelle Charpentier took the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Emmanuelle has been awarded jointly with Jennifer Doudna the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the groundbreaking CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. She is a former group leader at MIMS, honorary doctor at Umeå University and former visiting professor at UCMR.

Movie by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (

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