Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Introduction to ProVIS

Date: 07 October 2019 - 11 October 2019
Location: UFZ Leipzig, Germany

Learning about the cutting edge techniques applicable in microbial ecology & microbial physiology from single cells to metabolite analysis. Visualization of cellular activity and processes via molecular and elemental imaging techniques and high resolution microscopy in microbial ecology and physiology. Instrumental and methodological development also fosters these techniques for applications in many other environmental sciences.


The course covers lectures as well as practical training in:

  1. Sample preparation for chemical microscopy;
  2. Phylogenetic identification of microbial cells by FISH.
  3. Investigation of surface structure and element composition of the samples by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and helium-ion microscopy (HIM).
  4. The spatially resolved secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) techniques including time of flight SIMS (ToF-SIMS) and NanoSIMS for the identification and visualisation of molecular, isotopic, and elemental composition of biological samples.
  5. Ultra-high resolution molecular imaging mass spectrometry using MALDI-FT-ICR MS for spatially resolved biomarker distribution in biological samples (e.g. lipid distribution in zebrafish or rat kidney).
  6. Laser-Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP MS)
  7. An additional lecture and training will cover the principles of image-processing for correlative microscopy using the image-processing software ImageJ

The exact schedule for the practical trainings will be made after assignments of participants to the techniques.

Didactic Aims

  • overview of the ProVIS available techniques and their application to (micro)- biological field, from single cells to metabolomics approaches
  • introduction to chemical microscopy of (micro)-biological samples from µm to nanometer scale

Didactic Elements

Overview lectures (mass spectrometry and correlative imaging), instrument specific lectures and practical training (1/2 d each) for FISH, LMD, SEM, sample preparation based on chemical fixation, SIMS, LA-ICP MS, MALDI-FT-ICR MS

Target Group

  • Doctoral Researchers
  • Postdocs & Senior Scientists

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Registration and fee

Participation fees do not apply to cooperation partners, i.e. PhD candidates of SENSE partner WIMEK.
The current conditions of participation and use apply.
Please note: In order to register, a personal account has to be created first.