ProVis-Mikroskopie. Foto: André Künzelmann / UFZ

ProVIS – Platform for visualisation of biochemical processes at the cellular level

The technology platform ProVIS is funded by the Helmholtz Association and the European Regional Development Fund. It provides a unique pool of scientific equipment combining imaging technologies with methods for chemical analysis to study biological samples, structures and surfaces on a nanometer scale. The technology comprises high-resolution atomic force, electron and ion microscopy as well as several mass spectrometry methods which are used to answer questions from fundamental research to applied science. Main research focus at the UFZ is the investigation of structural and functional properties and regulatory processes of environmentally relevant microorganisms. These play, for example, an important role in biodegradation of chemicals and biotransformation of metals and, therefore, contribute to a better understanding of our ecosystem


  • Cooperation projects with universities, non-university research institutions and industry, development of new methods
  • Possible applications: single cells, viruses and bacteriophages, biofilms and aggregates, tissue slices, nanoparticles, material science (surface analysis), renewable resources and corrosion
  • Equipment: Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS; ToFSIMS), multi-collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Laser Ablation Mass Spectrometry coupled to ICP-MS (LA‐ICP‐MS), Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass
  • Spectrometry (FT‐ICR‐MS with MALDI imaging option), Confocal Raman spectroscopy (CRM) coupled with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Helium Ion and Electron Microscopy (HIM/EM), and instruments for protein analysis (nLC-MS/MS - Orbitrap Fusion), devices for sample preparation
  • Training and specialized courses for scientists

    ProVIS platform