New users

Interested in a scientific collaboration with LCAM?     
LCAM is an expertise centre and aims to perform high level scientific research where the light microscope has a central role.  The staff of LCAM has the expertise, skills and experience to give professional support and coaching for local, national and international researchers.

LCAM is not a facility; it is an expertise centre. This implies that the LCAM-staff works together with the guests of LCAM based on a scientific collaboration.  Researchers interested should contact Mark Hink for more information.


Resources and Facilities   
LCAM maintains customized equipment for :course1

  • Microscopy capable of f.e. FRAP, spectral analysis, CLEM, TIRF, FLIM, FFS & super-resolution microscopy
  • Spectroscopy in a cuvette, such as absorption spectrophotometry and steady-state fluorimetry
  • Biochemistry including benches, cold room, hoods, centrifuges, and chromatographs.
  • Cell Culture including flow cabinets and incubators.
  • Data analysis including workstations with software for data processing and visualization.


Scheduling Service   
Inquiries about starting up a collaboration with LCAM should be directed to:

Mark Hink
van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy
Section of Molecular Cytology
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
University of Amsterdam
Tel:       +31-(0)20-525 6211

The applicant is required to:
– Agree to the LCAM user policy (Download the most recent pdf version here)
– Be familiar with Bio and Laser safety rules. These issues are discussed during the intake interview and the LCAM basic confocal course that is mandatory for every LCAM user.
– Submit all final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from work at LCAM, upon acceptance for publication.
– In order to continue funding for the LCAM, all users of the facility, their affiliations, and the types of work performed in the LCAM must be recorded.

Applicants are asked to:
– Complete and submit the LCAM project intake form, that can be requested at Mark Hink.
– Complete and submit the LCAM project display form, that can be requested at Mark Hink.



Rules and guidelines for guests of the Van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy
version: January 1st 2017


Note: The rules outlined in this document are applicable for the laboratories of LCAM-FNWI. In this document LCAM-FNWI will be abbreviated as LCAM.

LCAM is an expertise centre and aims to perform high-level scientific research where the light microscope has a central role. The expertise and instruments within LCAM is available for users of LCAM. In order to keep the instruments in good condition and to organize usage of the instruments smoothly, we here define some rules for users of LCAM.


General rules

1) The Centre for Advanced Microscopy (LCAM) is open to students, UVA personnel and projects approved by the LCAM staff.

2) No modifications to the instruments are permitted without prior approval from the LCAM staff. It is not allowed to adjust the instruments of software that may impact other users without permission. It is strictly prohibited to install any software on the computers. Storage and use of other equipment is also restricted and subject to preapproval.

3) Users are responsible for thoroughly cleaning the equipment after each session. Oil immersion objectives must be wiped clean with optical lens paper only. Water objectives must be rinsed with water and wiped clean with optical lens paper only. Objective cleanliness will be strictly enforced!

4) Users are responsible for switching off the equipment. Users may transfer this responsibility to the next user. Only when users agree on this responsibility transfer, the next user becomes responsible. The last user of the day switches off all equipment (except the computer of the LSM). A violation of this rule may cause a personal fine. There are three situations that can cause a fine.

  1. a) Forgot to switch off microscope, fine one night €5,- weekend €15,-
  2. b) Forgot to switch off HG-lamp; fine one night €15,- weekend €50,-
  3. c) Forgot to switch off laser; fine per laser one night €30,- weekend €100,-

5) Error messages for each instrument must be recorded in each instrument’s logbook.

6) Users agree to immediately report instrument damages or error messages to the LCAM staff. When possible make screendumps using programs like Paint or Snipping Tool.


Safety, Chemicals & Biohazards

1) Food and beverages are absolutely prohibited in the microscope rooms and laboratories.

2) Only chemicals required by the experiment are allowed in LCAM. When the use of a toxic / dangerous chemical cannot be avoided, users must notify the managing staff in advance of planned use.

3) Radioactive materials are strictly prohibited.

4) Use of live viruses, potential biohazard (blood, bodily fluids) or any unconventional live organisms must be cleared with the staff for each instance and in advance of planned experiments.

5) Live cells, media, Petri dishes and gloves must be discarded in the biohazard containers in the tissue culture room. Small genetically modified organisms (GMO) waste (like pipet tips & glass samples) can be disposed in the small yellow biohazard containers, present in each room.

6) Users are responsible for cleaning the equipment at the end of the experiment.

7) Since the LCAM laboratoria are VMT level I, users experimenting with GMOs should be working according to the general VMT rules. White coats are present in the LCAM labs. Experiments using GMOs can only start after clearance of the linked GMO project description. For more info and GMO forms one should contact the LCAM or FNWI Biological Security Officer, Joachim Goedhart or Kick Maurer resp.


8) Users should be familiar and work according to the LCAM-FNWI Laser Safety rules, downloadable at the website. For more info one should contact the LCAM-FNWI Laser Security Officer Ronald Breedijk.

— Failure to notify the staff of chemical or biological hazards will result in immediate exclusion from LCAM–-



Time Use Policy

Reservation and use of LCAM equipment must be done in accordance to the following principles:

1) Time on the equipment must be reserved in advance. The reservation schedule can be found on the LCAM web site: No reservation more than 1.5 weeks in advance.

2) The microscopes can only be booked by sending a request to On Thursday afternoon the week before, the new booking list will be available on the web-page.

3) Users with live specimen are always given higher priority than those with fixed specimen. There is no guarantee an instrument will be routinely available on specific days or times of the week. If several users request the same slot, weekly rotations will be implemented so that users alternate their days in the week

4) Day-long reservations are allowed exclusively on experimental grounds, to accommodate live cell.

5) In exceptional cases the managing staff can break into the schedule (for example due to urgent maintenance).


Users: Intake, Guidance and Training

1) Before a local researcher starts as a guest of LCAM, plans will be discussed with the LCAM-staff during an intake interview. New users can contact LCAM-FNWI manager Mark Hink to request such an interview. A collaborative project form will be made and should be signed by user and LCAM staff. During the interview matters like financing, use of equipment, best research strategy, data ownership and publication plans will be discussed.

2) External guests will contact LCAM-FNWI via the application form at the EuroBioImaging Access website

3) Before a researcher starts as a guest of LCAM, a project description sheet and a powerpoint promo slide will be filled together with the LCAM-staff.

4) On regular basis, LCAM will organize a free 1-day training course for new guest researchers. Users of LCAM are obliged to follow such course and pass the exam before getting a microscope-specific training.

5) Hands-on training by one of the LCAM staff members is required before using any specific LCAM equipment.

6) New co-researchers that will join the project later will be introduced to the LCAM staff and also follow the terms and conditions outlined in these rules.

7) All bachelor and master students should follow the 1-day LCAM training course, the microscope-specific training by LCAM staff and should be guided at the microscope by their supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for all actions of the student. In case of abuse both the student and supervisor will be expelled from the LCAM labs, so a direct physical supervision at the microscope is recommended.

8) Bachelor and master students are not allowed to work after working hours at the LCAM microscopes without direct physical supervision.

9) Additional training courses at LCAM can be followed at various levels as listed at the website.


After-Hours Access

In the absence of managing staff, use of LCAM equipment outside regular business hours and during weekends and holidays has special implications for the equipment integrity and the quality of data collected.

1) First time after-hours users of LCAM equipment must contact the managing staff at least two days in advance of planned use. The staff grants access to the microscope rooms and explain the security procedure. Only guests with UvA permission may get LCAM after-hours permission.

2) Further training may be required to obtain after-hours access. The complexity of the experiment, potential risks to the equipment and the user’s background will be considered.

3) After the first time, each occurrence of after-hours use must be cleared in advanced with LCAM personnel.

4) Unauthorized after-hours use of LCAM equipment will result in exclusion from the LCAM equipment.


Data Storage and Computer Usage

1) Storage of data at the microscope computers is not allowed, so (re-)move data from the LCAM computers the same day when the data has been acquired. Data left on individual computers will be erased without further notice.

2) The facility owns a dedicated file server for long-term storage: sils-so. Each LCAM user will be allocated a minimal quotum of 250 GB storage space. This quotum may be increased if needed. To get access to the dataserver send an email with your UvANETID account information to Mark Hink (MolCyto & external guests) or Ronald Breedijk (SciencePark users). When requesting access to the  data and/or virtual servers of the University of Amsterdam the user will comply to the UVA-ICT code of conduct ( Accounts of users that have left will be deleted after some time, typically the data will be transferred to the folder of the supervisor.

3) Storage on the server is to be used exclusively for data acquired or analyzed within the LCAM. Files unrelated to activities conducted in the facility may not be stored on the server.

4) We strongly recommend not to rely exclusively on the server for data safekeeping! Note that the sils-so server does not have a backup option active. LCAM and UvA-ICT will do its best for data storage but is not liable in case of data loss. Therefore users should store a second copy of the data on whatever media they feel most appropriate.

5) Internet browsing, reading email or playing music is not allowed on our computers.


Data ownership and IP

1) An LCAM policy for data ownership and related IP is currently under development, in collaboration with UvA and EuroBioImaging. For the time being the rules below are being followed.

2) Ownership of the data and IP that is linked to the required data will be discussed during the intake interview. An agreement should be reached between user, LCAM-staff and other parties (like f.e. NWO).

3) For current issues with data ownership and related IP we will follow the LCAM agreement, that can be requested from LCAM-director Dorus Gadella.

4) LCAM is not liable for the metadata related to experimental samples.





1) LCAM is not a facility; it is an expertise centre. This implies that the LCAM-staff works together with the guests of LCAM based on a scientific collaboration.

2) As a consequence of the scientific collaboration, LCAM should appropriately be acknowledged in publications either as co-authors or in acknowledgment according to the ESF code of conduct. This item will be discussed during the intake interview.

3) LCAM should be cited as: ”van Leeuwenhoek Centre for Advanced Microscopy, Section Molecular Cytology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam”. Note that for specific usage of microscopes additional equipment grants should be included. An example how to acknowledge these grants look at the equipment-specific webpages of

4) LCAM wants to receive a pdf-file of the publication. Note: For grant applications (e.g. new equipment) collaborative papers are the only proof for collaboration between research groups.


Financial coverage:

1) Researchers from SILS will be charged for the use of photons. The costs at this moment can be requested from the LCAM staff. These costs are only to be able to replace lamps and lasers.

2) Academic researchers from outside SILS will be charged for the time consumption on the microscopes. Rate is to be determined at the project discussion with the LCAM staff.

3) Guests from industry pay a day fee (but short pilot experiments are free of charge).

4) For all collaborations we expect that researchers contribute in the costs of special equipment. Special microscopy equipment will be also available for other users.

5) Users that plan to submit a grant application where microscopy time is required will discuss with the LCAM-staff possible coverage of the costs.