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Cell and tissue imaging core

The Cell and Tissue Imaging Core (CIC) is a KU Leuven core facility that brings together scientists from a wide range of disciplines who use microscopy techniques to answer biological and biomedical questions.


The CIC provides access to cutting-edge optical technologies, integrates and improves the expertise in fluorescence imaging and offers experience related to live imaging. We integrate live fluorescence imaging with 2-photon excitation microscopy and second harmonic generation to provide multiplexed, real-time structural and physiological information on the ENS and other samples such as cells, organelles, tissues, organs and animals.

Enteric nervous system imaging

The enteric nervous system (ENS) controls secretion, absorption and motor behavior of the GI tract for which accurate communication (synaptic and paracrine) between the different ENS cell types is necessary; the ENS also interacts with cells of the immune system, is influenced by gut microbiota and dietary factors and is implicated in the gut-brain axis and in (central) neurodegeneration.

Central to understanding integrated ENS function, is the measurement of cellular activity in their native and intact three-dimensional (3D) environment at high spatial resolution and with sufficient speed to understand the temporal relations between the components involved.

CIC image 1.png

By combining Cre expressed under the control of different promotors with floxed GCaMP, we are able to visualize increases in intracellular [Ca2+]  resulting from cellular activity in distinct subpopulations.

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