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Welcome to the Center for Computer Integrated Systems for Microscopy and Manipulation (CISMM) at UNC Chapel Hill, funded by the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering through award number 5-P41-EB002025.   CISMM develops force technologies applicable over a wide range of biological settings, from the single molecule to the tissue, applied to cancer. thromboses and lung disease, with integrated systems that orchestrate facile instrument control, multimodal imaging and unique high throughput microscopy instrumentation. Complementing this tool set is the development of a wide range of analysis and visualization tools, in the desktop and in virtual environments, that are being applied to domains from the molecular models of cellular structure, to flows in the three dimensional mesh of blood clots, to a dynamic atlas of geometry and growth in pediatric airways.

Latest News


This movie shows a side-view of the nucleus of a SKOV cell, an ovarian cancer cell line, with the DNA labeled with a red fluorescent nucleic acid stain, as captured with Vertical Light Sheet Sideways Microscopy (VLSSM). Over the course of the movie an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) cantilever with 5μm bead tip deforms the nucleus with 50nN of force. The movie was recorded at 40fps with simultaneous force data acquired by an AFM.  For more information on VLSSM follow this link :  http://cismm.cs.unc.edu/core-projects/force-microscopy/scanning_probe_technologies/

Technology Research and Development (TRD)

TRD 1: Force Microscope Technologies
TRD 2: Molecular Imaging Tools
TRD 3: Biomedical Image Analysis

Collaborations form the heart of our resource

Dr. Zdanski uses VPAW to make a surgical model

Their influence has grown to 18 collaboration projects involving over 28 senior investigator collaborators, with fully one half (9) of the projects located outside of UNC. Collaborators are organized as Collaboration Clusters:

Cell Mechanics Cluster
Lung Cluster
Thrombosis Cluster

Service, Training, and Dissemination

This Resource prides itself on building computer-based tools for microscopy and force measurements to serve the needs of scientists working on the frontiers of knowledge. Our goals are to support visiting scientists, to support Resource-developed hardware/software systems delivered outside the Resource, to support and enhance the research of users who come to our laboratories at UNC.
Service: Come use our resources, either by visiting us at UNC, getting our hardware, or through our free software.
Dissemination: download our software, learn about our work through our publications.
Training: Come learn about forces in biology through our annual Carolina Workshop on Forces in Biology hosted at UNC May 11-13.

Come Use Our Facilities

As an NIH National Research Resource we provide access to our unique facilities to researchers doing related work. Click here to learn more about using this facility.

5-P41-RR02170