Facilities and Equipment

The CEMIPAI platform houses a 360 m2 enclosed laboratory facility of biosafety level 3 (BSL3). All procedures involving infectious material are done within dedicated biological safety cabinets installed in a total of 8 individual boxes  


Biosafety Cabinets

6 boxes of the BSL3 facilities are dedicated to either viruses or bacterias and contain state-of-the-art equipment, including: 

Flow Cytometry

A box equipped with a NovoCyte Flow Cytometer 2100Y installed in a Biological Safety Cabinet. 


  • 2 lasers (blue 488nm and yellow 561nm), which can be upgraded with a red or violet laser.
  • 10 fluorescence parameters
  • Absolute counting, without addition of counting beads
  • Sample tube/plate holder (24 tube rack or 24-48-96 well plates)
  • NovoExpress Software is enable to analyze cell cycle with Watson‚Äôs method (Cytometry 2001 ;43:55-68)


High Throughput Screening

Our BSL3 is equipped with a workstation specifically designed for high throughput screening

  • A Zephyr multichannel liquid handler with 96-and 384-well capabilities for performing accurately and efficiently plate preparation, replication or reformatting, serial dilutions and cell based assays.
  • A Biotek plate washer.
  • An Envision Multilabel reader. This is a fast and effective reader that can accommodate a wide range of mirror modules and filters to enable a variety of detection approaches based on fluorescence Intensity, luminescence and absorbance.
  • A Twister II Microplate Handler with multiple instrument capability and integral plate and tip storage capacity.
  • A microplate incubator LiCONiC STX44 (2 racks for a capacity of 44 microplates)

The workstation is supported by iLinkPro, a robust and easy to use control software that connects all the instruments to set up a fully automated assay system.

Super Resolution Microscopy TIRF-PALM (Photonic imaging)

TIRF-PALM microscope Model Nikon Ti-E

Installed in the BSL3 facilities, our Nikon TIRF-PALM microscope is equipped with 3 different objectives (20x long WD (1.2 mm), oil immersions 40x and 100x corrected for super resolution imaging) and 5 different filter cubes, 3 classical for blue (Dapi), green (FITC) and red (mCherry) imaging, 2 optimized for super resolution (STORM or PALM w/mEos2) imaging. The EM-CCD detector allows fast acquisition in low fluorescence levels. 3 different lasers, namely 405, 488 and 561 nm are fiber coupled to a TIRF module allowing either TIRF excitation or wide-field excitation. A perfect focus system is also available to avoid any z-drift during long time image acquisition.

Diodes Laser: 405nm, 488nm, 561nm, 641nm / Objectives: 20x, 40x, 100x

Detector:¬†EMCCD Camera IXON 897¬†(512√ó512 chip, pixel 16¬Ķm)

TIRF arm
Motorized stage XYZ with autofocus system PFS

Software: NIS

The microscope is inserted into an incubation room to maintain biological viability as long as needed. Acquisition and interfacing software are provided by Nikon.

Electron Microscopy Facilities

Depending on your question and sample we offer a variety of different preparation techniques to ensure optimal preservation of your specimen:

  • Preparation for¬†transmission¬†electron microscopy to study surface and pathogen structures
  • Conventional chemical fixation for tissue samples and cell monolayers.
  • Immunolabeling to locate structures of interest.
  • Negative Staining for rapid visualization of macromolecules, proteins, viruses, organelles or bacteria.

Pictures legends:

A) Electron microscopic imaging of ZIKV-infected primary fibroblasts. Membrane vesicles with sizes between 70 and 100 nm, observed in intimate association with the endoplasmic reticulum, are indicated by a white arrow. Black arrows indicate the presence of spherical capsids detected in intracellular vacuoles or docked to intracellular membranes. Image from A.Neyret, in Hamel et al., J. Virol. 2015 Sep 89(17) 8880-96 




High-Speed Atomic Force Microscopy on living cells


Since March 2018, our BSL3 facility is equipped with the latest generation of atomic force microscope designed for real time imaging of cells and class-3 pathogens.  Our NanoWizard4 BioScience from JPK Instruments combines atomic resolution and fast scanning, integrated with an optical microscope. It is designed to provide high resolution AFM coupled with fluorescence optical imaging  during long term experiments on samples ranging from single molecules, viruses, bacteria to living eukaryotic cells and tissues.