Platform 3: Cellular Imaging

Cellular imaging


Leader: Yves De Koninck

Coordinator of the Molecular Tools Platform: Marie-Ève Paquet (

Location: Neurophotonics Centre at the Centre de Recherche Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Québec.

Link:Molecular Tools Platform at the Neurophotonics Centre


Genetically engineered animals and virus-delivered fluorescent or photosensitive markers

The Molecular Tools Platform at the Neurophotonics Centre (Also known as the POM - Plate-forme d'Outils Moléculaires) generates genetic tools for optical imaging. These tools are typically DNA encoded fluorescent proteins, markers or photosensensitive probes that can be delivered to cultured cells, tissue slices or live animals. These markers can also be used in the making of genetically modified mice.

Molecular tools for Optogenetics developped by Karl Deisseroth, at Stanford University, are also available from POM

The POM can provide expertise and services in the following areas:

  • Viral vectors
  • DNA constructs
  • Conditionally expressed markers
  • Transgenic animals (BAC or others)
  • Knockin or Knockout mice
  • DNA encoded fluorescent tools for:
    1. Monitoring neural activity
    2. Deep tissue imaging
    3. Ion measurements
    4. Light activation/inhibition of neurons (optogenetics)
    5. Cellular and subcellular targeting

Tools available to QPRN Members:

Information about Fluorophores:

A fluorophore is a fluorescent molecule that emits light of a peak wavelength designated λe in response to absorption of light of a peak wavelength λa. The following documents gives more information about many of the fluorophores available for use at the POM

Download the Fluorophores spreadsheet. Explanation of all the variables in the document can be found on the second page, or by clicking on column titles.

Information on the different viral vectors produced by the Molecular Tools Platform

The use of viruses to deliver genes and more specifically fluorescent markers to cells of the nervous system is known to work efficiently. However, different viral vectors are available to you that have different characteristics, and the decision to favor one or another virus should be based on numerous considerations, a few of which being: size of the genetic material to be carried in the vector (gene of interest + regulatory sequences), cells that are targeted (number, phenotype, mitotic status), speed and duration of expression etc.

Download information about the viruses available from POM.

Once delivered inside cells, some markers can be transported in the neurons, as diagrammed to the right:»»»»»»

QPRN Tools

POM maintains a list of tools prepared for QPRN members that can be accessed by other network members. A user name and password are required to view the available resources - These can be obtained by contacting the POM Coordinator, Marie-Ève Paquet by email.



Visit the Molecular Tools Platform website for more information.