Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre

The Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre in Palmerston North can be used by researchers, Crown Research Institutes, other teaching institutions, hospitals and commercial clients.

We have a professional team of specialists to help you with your microscopy needs, including:

  • transmitted light and fluorescence microscopy
  • electron microscopy
  • image analysis.

Booking a microscope

If you are a first-time user of the Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre (MMIC), you will need to register.

Registered users can book online

Our facilities

Electron microscopy

FEI Tecnai G2 biotwin TEM with tomography uni with tomography unit

This microscope is commonly used for ultrastructural determination of thin sections and on-the-grid preparations.

This microscope is commonly used for ultrastructural determination of thin sections and on-the-grid preparations.

Key features include:

  • high resolution (3nm) imaging of thin sections
  • automated tomography and 3D reconstructions.

Leica EM UC7 ultramicrotome

This is used for routine production of resin embedded thin sections (20-100nm).

Scanning confocal microscopy

Zeiss LSM900 with Airyscan 2 super-resolution microscope

This microscope is commonly used for co-localisation, photobleaching/recovery (FRAP) and monitoring molecular interactions (FRET).

Key features include:

  • ~1.7x improvement over traditional scanning confocal imaging in XYZ resolution: 120nm (lateral) x 350nm (axial) with 488nm excitation
  • excitation lines at 405nm, 488nm, 561nm and 640nm for imaging all commonly used stains and fluorescent proteins
  • three high sensitivity GaAsP PMT detectors for low light imaging
  • multiplex standard and super-resolution confocal modes for high speed recordings
  • acquisition tiling of large samples
  • transmitted light detector.

Live-cell imaging platform

Olympus IX83-based multidimensional imaging platform

This is commonly used for time-lapse studies of dynamic events (such as organelle transport, cell motility), and multi-well plate scans.

Key features include:

  • fully shuttered transmitted and epi-fluorescence light for time-lapse studies
  • intensity controllable, rapid switching, LED illumination from 365nm to 770nm with filterwheel-based transmitted light (DIC) imaging
  • rapid z-stepping
  • automated multi-dimensional image acquisition (x,y,t,lambda)
  • programmable automated stage for multi-point and tiling scans
  • low light CCD imaging camera
  • temperature control.

Additional light microscopes

Transmitted light microscopes

  • Zeiss Axiophot microscope with differential interference contrast (DIC) optics and colour CCD camera
  • Leica MZ12 stereomicroscope with CCD camera.

Widefield fluorescence microscopes

  • Olympus BX51 microscope with micropublisher five-colour CCD camera
  • Leica DM RBE microscope (phase contrast optics) and CCD camera.

Calibrations for microscopes

Light microscopy

Zeiss Axiophot compound light microscope:

Table of calibration data for images taken with DFC320 camera on Zeiss Axiophot compound light microscope
Configuration Image width
4x 3.60mm
10x 1.44mm
20x 723um
40x 355um
100x 145um

Fluorescence microscopy

Olympus BX51 fluorescence light microscope with MicroManager five-colour camera:

Table of calibration data for images taken with Olympus BX51 fluorescence light microscope with MicroManager five-colour camera.
Configuration Bin2
(For Bin1 divide each value in half)
Pixel size (um)
4x 3.36um
10x 1.35um
20x 0.67um
40x 0.33um
100x 0.14um

Publications which used MMIC resources

To see examples of the quality of our work, see the list of recent publications below. You can also access publications through the Massey Library.

Find articles in the Massey Library

Abhilasha, A., Kaur, L., Monro, J., Hardacre, A., Singh, J. (2021). Intact, Kibbled, and Cut Wheat Grains: Physico-Chemical, Microstructural Characteristics and Gastro-Small Intestinal Digestion In vitro.Starch, 73, 7–8.

Abhilasha, A; Kaur, L; (...); Singh, J. 2022. Effects of hydrothermal treatment and low-temperature storage of whole wheat grains on in vitro starch hydrolysis and flour properties. Food Chemistry 395

Acevedo-Fani, A., Ochoa-Grimaldo, A., Loveday, S.M., & Singh, H. (2021). Digestive dynamics of yoghurt structure impacting the release and mesbioaccessibility of the flavonoid rutin Food Hydrocolloids.
Volume 111,2021,106215

Ajala, A; Kaur, L; (...); Singh, J. 2022. Influence of seed microstructure on the hydration kinetics and oral-gastro-small intestinal starch digestion in vitro of New Zealand pea varieties. Food Hydrocolloids 129

Ang, CL; Goh, KKT; (...); Matia-Merino, L. 2022. High-Protein Foods for Dysphagia: Manipulation of Mechanical and Microstructural Properties of Whey Protein Gels Using De-Structured Starch and Salts. Gels 8

Cheng, LR; Ye, AQ; (...); Singh, H. 2022. Modification of the interfacial structure of droplet-stabilised emulsions during in vitro dynamic gastric digestion: Impact on in vitro intestinal lipid digestion. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 608, 1286-1296

Choki, K., Li, S., Ye, A., et al. (2021). Fate of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles during dynamic in vitro gastrointestinal digestion: the impact of milk as a matrix. Food & Function, 12. Issue 6, 2760–2771.

Hassing, B; Candy, A; (...); Scott, B. 2022. Localisation of phosphoinositides in the grass endophyte Epichloe festucae and genetic and functional analysis of key components of their biosynthetic pathway in E. festucae symbiosis and Fusarium oxysporum pathogenesis. Fungal Genetics and Biology 159

Huang, Y., Flint, S.H., Palmer, J.S. (2021). Bacillus cereus spores and toxins - The potential role of biofilms. Food Microbiol. Sep; 90:103493. doi: 10.1016/

Hura, AJ; Hawley, HR; (...); Fitzsimons, HL. 2022. Loss of Drosophila Coq8 results in impaired survival, locomotor deficits and photoreceptor degeneration. Molecular brain 15

Kim, J; Watkinson, P; (...); Golding, M. 2022. Evaluation of formulation design on the physical and structural properties of commercial cream cheeses. International Journal of Food Science and technology 57, 6422-6434

Li, S., Ye, A., Singh, H. (2021). Physicochemical changes and age gelation in stored UHT milk: Seasonal variations. International Dairy Journal, ‏ 118. Article number 105028.

Li, SQ; Pan, Z; (...); Singh, H. 2022. Structural and rheological properties of the clots formed by ruminant milks during dynamic in vitro gastric digestion: Effects of processing and species. Food Hydrocolloids 126

Li, SQ; Ye, AQ; (...); Singh, H. 2022. Dynamic in vitro gastric digestion behavior of goat milk: Effects of homogenization and heat treatments. Journal of Dairy Science 105, 965-980

Lin, Q., Wu, D., Singh, H., et al. (2021). Improving solubility and stability of beta-carotene by microencapsulation in soluble complexes formed with whey protein and OSA-modified starch. Food Chemistry, ‏ 352. Article number 129267.

Luo, N., Ye, A., Wolber, F. M., et al. (2021). Effect of Gel Structure on the In Vitro Gastrointestinal Digestion Behaviour of Whey Protein Emulsion Gels and the Bioaccessibility of Capsaicinoids. Molecules, ‏ 26. Issue ‏ 5. Article number 1379.

Main, P., Tan, W. Jun., Wheeler, D., et al. (2021). Increased Abundance of Nuclear HDAC4 Impairs Neuronal Development and Long-Term Memory. Frontiers in molecular neuroscience, ‏ 14. Article number 616642.

Marinea, M., Ellis, A., Golding, M., Loveday, S. M. (2021). Soy Protein Pressed Gels: Gelation Mechanism Affects the In Vitro Proteolysis and Bioaccessibility of Added Phenolic Acids Foods. Jan 13. 10(1):154. doi: 10.3390/foods10010154.

Nadia, J; Olenskyj, AG; (...); Bornhorst, GM. 2022. Influence of food macrostructure on the kinetics of acidification in the pig stomach after the consumption of rice- and wheat-based foods: Implications for starch hydrolysis and starch emptying rate. Food chemistry, 394

Nakano, M; Morgan-Richards, M; (...); Clavijo-McCormick, A. 2022. Chemical Ecology and Olfaction in Short-Horned Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Journal of Chemical Ecology 48, 121-140

Okubanjo, S. S., Ye, A., Wilde, P. J., et al. (2021). Antioxidant performance in droplet-stabilized oil-in-water emulsions. LWT-Food Science and Technology, 139. Article number 110541.

Pan, Z; Ye, AQ; (...); Singh, H. 2022. Kinetics of heat-induced interactions among whey proteins and casein micelles in sheep skim milk and aggregation of the casein micelles. Journal of Dairy Science 105, 3871-3882

Pradhan, S; Whitby, CP; (...); Avci, E. 2022. Interfacial colloidal assembly guided by optical tweezers and tuned via surface charge. Journal of Colloid and interface Science 621, 101-109

Qazi, H. J., Ye, A., Acevedo-Fani, A., et al. (2021). In vitro digestion of curcumin-nanoemulsion-enriched dairy protein matrices: Impact of the type of gel structure on the bioaccessibility of curcumin. Food Hydrocolloids, 117. Article number 106692.

Qazi, HJ; Ye, AQ; (...); Singh, H. 2022. Impact of Recombined Milk Systems on Gastrointestinal Fate of Curcumin Nanoemulsion. Frontiers in nutrition 9

Rashidinejad, A; Jameson, GB and Singh, H. 2022. The Effect of pH and Sodium Caseinate on the Aqueous Solubility, Stability, and Crystallinity of Rutin towards. Concentrated Colloidally Stable Particles for the Incorporation into Functional Foods Molecules 27

Roy, D; Moughan, PJ; (...); Singh, H. 2022. Structural changes in milk from different species during gastric digestion in piglets. Journal of Dairy Science 105, 3810-3831Roy, D., Ye, A., Moughan, P.J., Singh, H. (2021). Impact of gastric coagulation on the kinetics of release of fat globules from milk of different species. Food Funct, Jan 29. doi: 10.1039/d0fo02870c.

Roy, D., Ye, A., Moughan, P.J., Singh, H. (2021). Structural changes in cow, goat, and sheep skim milk during dynamic in vitro gastric digestion. J Dairy Sci. Feb 2021. 104(2), 1394–1411. doi: 10.3168/jds.2020-18779.

Su, Y., Bayarjargal, M., Hale, T. K., et al. (2021). DNA with zwitterionic and negatively charged phosphate modifications: Formation of DNA triplexes, duplexes and cell uptake studies. Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, 17, 761–749.

Wang, T., Flint, S., Palmer, J. (2021). Heterogeneous response of Geobacillus stearothermophilus bio films to calcium. International Dairy Journal, 116, 104961.

Wang, X., Ye, A., Dave, A., et al. (2021). In vitro digestion of soymilk using a human gastric simulator: Impact of structural changes on kinetics of release of proteins and lipids. Food Hydrocolloids, 111, 106235.

Wang, X; Wolber, FM; (...); Singh, H. 2022. Gastric digestion of cow milk, almond milk and oat milk in rats. Food&Function 13, 10981-10993

Zheng, M., Ye, A., Singh, H., et al. (2021). The in vitro digestion of differently structured starch gels with different amylose contents. Food Hydrocolloids, 116, 106647.

Get more information

For information about the confocal/widefield fluorescence microscopes and transmitted light microscopes:
Contact Matthew Savoian

For information about Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM):

Contact Yanyu He

Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre


+64 356 9099 extension 84714


Physical address
School of Food Technology and Natural Sciences
Riddet Road
Massey University
Palmerston North

Postal address
School of Food Technology and Natural Sciences
Private Bag 11-222
Palmerston North 4472

Location: Find us on Google maps

Dr Matthew Savoian's photo

Dr Matthew Savoian

PhD, BSc

Director – Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre (MMIC), Senior Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology, Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre (MMIC), School of Food Technology and Natural Sciences, Manawatū campus, Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre (MMIC), School of Food Technology and Natural Sciences, Manawatū campus

+64 6 356 9009 extension 84714

I am the director of the Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre (MMIC), Massey's imaging facility. I am also a cell biologist. Along with MMIC Director I am a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology in the School of Fundamental Sciences.

My laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular basis of male fertility. Specifically, we focus on two fundamental processes, how chromosomes are accurately segregated during meiosis and the cellular events underlying sperm development. To investigate these we employ the Drosophila melanogaster fruit flymodel system and a multidisciplinary approach that combines quantitative live and fixed cell cell microscopy with molecular genetics and additional complementary imaging and analytical techniques.

 Yanyu He's photo

Yanyu He


Microscopy technician, Manawatū Microscopy and Imaging Centre (MMIC), School of Food Technology and Natural Sciences, Manawatū campus

+64 6 356 9009 extension 84602