Research Core Facilities

Unity Health Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
What the facility does

Research on biological mechanisms of disease and the development of new treatments.

Areas of expertise

The UHN Research Core Facilities has created an operating model of extensive shared-facility support for basic science research in the Keenan Research Centre. We provide the latest equipment and techniques, in addition to professional training and management. By reducing duplication and increasing usage, the facility offers significant savings, creating a critical mass where cutting-edge equipment and techniques are available to our scientists.

Research Core Facilities is spread over three floors and includes both common and specialized facilities, such as Flow Cytometry, Molecular Biology, and Histology. Each has a core coordinator whose primary role is to train users and provide technical expertise in the design and execution of scientific experiments. The Research Bioimaging Facility has a variety of basic and specialized equipment for image capture, analysis and display, and two coordinators are available for support.  In addition, a state-of-the-art vivarium is available, providing training and assistance and adhering to the latest guidelines and regulations.

Research services
  • Flow Cytometry Core
  • Histology Core
  • Molecular Biology Core
  • Bioimaging Centre
  • Molecular Pathology Core specialty service
  • Research Vivarium
  • Tissue Bank
  • Microfabrication Core and 3D printing
Sectors of application
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Specialized lab



Flow Cytometry

MACSQuant analyzers

The Flow Cytometry Core provides access to several flow cytometers and a cell sorter allowing investigation of surface proteins, cellular proliferation, apoptosis, microparticle populations and immunophenotyping as well as supporting systems to prep and analyze cells.





FACSCalibur 1



Fortessa X20






Molecular devices ImageXpress Micro



Leica TP1020 Tissue Processor

The Histology Core provides all of the equipment and expertise to safely and effectively prepare fresh or fixed tissues crucial to the investigation of tissue structure, function and pathological progression or successful intervention in preclinical models of disease or human patient samples.


Leica EG1160

Paraffin embedding.


Leica RM2145 Rotary Microtome



Leica RM2235 Rotary Microtome



Leica CM1900 Cryostat



Leica VT1000 S vibrating-blade microtome



Leica Autostainer XL



Olympus IMT-2 Microscope


Molecular Biology


The Molecular Biology Core houses equipment and provides expertise to support the complete workflow for gene expression, genotyping, SNP analysis, viral packaging for gene delivery, cell electroporation for gene delivery, laser capture microdissection specialty service and other various methods to interrogate the molecular regulation of various biological processes.


ABI StepOnePlus



ABI Veriti Thermocycler



NanoString nCounter



Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer



Captair RNA/DNA Rolling Clean Hood



Eppendorf Mastercycler Gradient Thermocycler



Zeiss LSM 700 Inverted Confocal microscope

The Bioimaging Centre offers advanced imaging technology, providing access to state-of-the-art equipment. The list includes microscopes for routine imaging of histology stained and fluorescent samples as well as confocal microscopes providing thin optical sections of thick specimens with improved contrast. In addition, an advanced live cell imaging system allows brief or long-term imaging of samples in an environmentally controlled chamber. Several image analysis computers are also available with software to prepare data for publication.


Zeiss AxioObserver inverted microscope

For live cell imaging.


Olympus Upright BX50 microscope



Nikon Upright E800 microscope



Nikon Inverted TE300 microscope




Multispectral optoacoustic tomography for in vivo whole animal imaging


Heidleberg Spectralis (HRA+OCT)

For multimodal retinal imaging, adapted for use with rodents.


Image analysis workstations with advanced software


Microfabrication and 3D printing

Class 10,000 (ISO Class 7) cleanroom space

The Microfabrication Core provides equipment and expertise in the area of microfabrication and rapid device prototyping for biomedical applications and healthcare.

The facilities include Class 10,000 (ISO Class 7) cleanroom space, multi-jet-modeling technology 3D printer for high-definition prototype devices, and general lab equipment.

In addition to the equipment, the Microfabrication and Device Development Core offers group and individual trainings, protocol development and validation, 3D modeling and device design, data analysis and consultation services.


ProJet 3510 HDPlus 3D printer



ProJet Finisher oven

For support material removal.


Beckman Coulter Counter Multisizer 4



Shimadzu UV-3600 UV-VIS-NIR Spectrophotometer



Microtrac S3500 particle size analyzer



Shimadzu RF-5301PC Spectrofluorophotometer


  • University of Toronto
  • Toronto Metropolitan University
  • iBEST (Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Science Technology)