Laser Scanning Microscopy (LSM) has since the inventions of the Confocal Scanning Laser Microscope (CLSM) and
the Multi Photon Laser Scanning Microscope (MPLSM) developed into an essential tool in contemporary life science
and material science.
The market provides an increasing number of turn-key and hands-off commercial LSM systems, un-problematic to
purchase, set up and integrate even into minor research groups.
However, the successful definition, financing, acquisition, installation and effective use of one or more large laser
scanning microscopy systems, possibly of core facility character, often requires major efforts by senior staff members of
large academic or industrial units.
Here, a set of recommendations is presented, which are helpful during the process of establishing large systems for
confocal or non-linear laser scanning microscopy as an effective operational resource in the scientific or industrial
Besides the description of technical difficulties and possible pitfalls, the article also illuminates some seemingly "less
scientific" processes, i.e. the definition of specific laboratory demands, advertisement of the intention to purchase one or
more large systems, evaluation of quotations, establishment of contracts and preparation of the local environment and