23 February 2024

BRIC Pioneers Advanced Imaging Technology in Denmark

Finding ways to see deeper is key to understanding how the cells in our bodies work – and to understand what happens when things go wrong.

Interview with Associate Professor Fena Ochs

Biotech Research & Innovation Centre (BRIC), at the University of Copenhagen, has received 2,385,000 DKK from the Kirsten and Freddy Johansens Foundation to establish a novel, cutting edge imaging technology, called live-3D-SIM in Denmark. The state-of-the art microscope is the first of its kind in Denmark and allows researchers at BRIC and in the wider Danish research network to study disease at previously unprecedented level.

Our goal is to understand the fundamental biology that keeps us healthy and to use this knowledge to identify disease and novel treatment potential. Live-3D-SIM is a unique imaging technology that gives us so-far unprecedented insight into the complex 3D structures and molecular processes in living cells”, says Associate Professor Fena Ochs, BRIC group leader.

Live-3D-imaging to tackle the key biomedical questions of our time

BRIC is an elite centre for biomedical research focused on cancer and neurological diseases with a wide repertoire in single cell technologies and a strong translational focus. Compared to traditional imaging approaches, live-3D-SIM  allows researchers to overcome previous limitations and expand their studies from single cells to single molecules – seeing live, the interactions between the smallest building blocks of our bodies. Compared to conventional microscopy approaches, which are limited in optical resolution, live-3D-SIM can resolve objects as small as a 1/1000 the width of a hair, making it possible to see for example tumour proteins and discover which molecular processes accelerate or prohibit tumour growth.

The development of super-resolution microscopy has been ground-breaking for biomedical research. We are immensely grateful to the Kirsten and Freddy Johansen’s Foundation for enabling us to establish live-3D-SIM here in Copenhagen. The movement towards single molecule biology in living cells will be powerful for us as a research community to tackle the key biomedical questions of our time”, says Associate Professor Fena Ochs, BRIC group leader.

The new microscope, called OMX V4, is the first microscope in Denmark, and second in the world, to allow quantitative 3D-SIM imaging in living cells and tissues. It is installed at BRIC in the laboratory of Associate Professor Fena Ochs.

Our research program aims at understanding how our cells keep their heritable information, our DNA, stable over generations and in the complex 3D environment it is packaged in. This will allow us to understand how its dysregulation causes diseases, such as developmental diseases and cancer, and hopefully translate to new clinical strategies”, says Associate Professor Fena Ochs. Upon integration into BRIC’s imaging facility, the microscope will be accessible to the wider Danish research community including industry and hospitals.

I am truly excited that BRIC has received this new technology. I have no doubt that cutting edge research requires cutting edge technology, and this microscope brings Denmark to the forefront of biomedical research. The new imaging technology will, in time, have a significant potential impact on new discoveries and clinical treatments across different research fields, supporting BRIC’s vison of creating societal impact and conducting groundbreaking research”, says Professor Anders Lund, BRIC director.


Currently, the microscope is part of Prof Fena Ochs’ laboratory, but will be connected to the BRIC light microscopy core facility in the future. For press queries please contact: emil.petersen@bric.ku.dk; for microscope related queries feel free to contact: fena.ochs@bric.ku.dk.