Imaging Facilities

LSM 880 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope with AiryScan

This new state-of-the art, fast scanning (27 frames/sec @ 480 x 480 pixels) near super-resolution confocal microscope (max 140nm lateral and 400nm axial resolution) was installed in September 2016.

It comprises an inverted, fully motorised (X,Y,Z) Zeiss Axio Imager 2 with 10x, 20x, 40x and 63x objectives, which supports epifluorescence (RGB) and brightfield microscopy. The stand is equipped with an incubation system with temperature and CO2 control
making it possible to image living material in addition to fixed, sectioned biological material.

The system is equipped with a Diode 405nm laser, a Multiline Argon laser (wavelengths 458nm, 488nm and 514nm), a DPSS 561nm laser, a HeNe 594nm laser and a HeNe 633nm laser. The confocal has a range of ultra-sensitive detectors, including the Airyscan detector module, that are run through the user-friendly ZEN software platform. The software includes modules for 3D/4D reconstruction and animation; spectral scanning; analysis and quantification of co-localisation; spectral unmixing, advanced tiling and photo-bleaching (FRAP, FRET).

LSM880 Confocal

The LSM 880 is available for use by all members of the School of Medicine and Dentistry (and external users). Before using the Centre for Endocrinology system for the first time, users must demonstrate their competence or receive training.

For further information please email

Competent users may book a time slot to use the LSM 880 through iLabs. The charge for using this microscope is currently £25/hour.

Microvascular Research Live (cell/tissue) Imaging Suite (MIC-LIS)

Our Centre houses:

  • Single-Point Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes (x3) allowing in vivo and in vitro time-lapse imaging as well as fixed sample imaging;
  • Time-lapse epi-fluorescent Microscope (x1) for in vitro live cell imaging;
  • Brightfield/epifluorescent axioscope microscopes (x2) for intravital microscopy;
  • Image analysis Platforms (x2) with IMARIS™ or ZEN Blue ™ software.

Microvascular Research Live Imaging Suite

All this equipment is available for researchers within QMUL and beyond. We can provide support, advice and training for anyone interested in using our facility.

Location: John Vane Science Centre, 4th floor, Microvascular Research, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ.

Contact: For enquiries regarding the use of these platforms, please contact Dr Mathieu-Benoit Voisin ( or Dr Tom Nightingale (

Single-Point Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes

Zeiss 800 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (Inverted)

This inverted confocal microscope was installed in December 2015. 

Zeiss 800 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (inverted)

Light source: 4 solid state laser diodes (405, 488, 561 and 640nm) and a transmitted light detector suitable for overlaying confocal fluorescence images with DIC images.

Detectors: Fitted with 2 ultra-sensitive GaAsP detectors with spectral detection functionality.

Available objectives:

- EC Plan-Neofluarx, 10 (NA:0.3; WD=5.2), Dry
- Plan-Apochromat, x20 (NA:0.8; WD=0.55 M27), Dry
- Plan-Apochromat, x40 (NA:1.3; DIC UVVIS-IR), Oil
- Plan-Apochromat, x63 (NA:1.4; DIC f/ELYRA), Oil.

Software: ZEN Blue ™ software interface

Other features include:

  • environmental control for temperature and CO2
  • definite focus hardware based drift correction
  • motorised stage suitable for both mark and find and tile scanning
  • Piezo z-drive for accurate high-speed z-sectioning.

Charges: This system is currently charged at £25/hour or £100/night.

Leica TCS SP5 & TCS SP8 up-right Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopes (up-right)

These 2 systems have upright configurations designed for intravital microscopy (VM), but are also able to cater for fast and highly sensitive multi-colour confocal imaging of fixed preparations such as whole-mounted tissues or cell culture samples. Both systems are laser point-scanning devices and will support 4D imaging applications. Both microscopes are configured to scan in two different modes:

  • Standard mode for higher resolution with speed of scanning between 400Hz to 1800Hz.
  • Rapid –Resonancemode for fast acquisition with a speed of scanning of 8000Hz (e.g. ~ 50 frames for 30 sec at a resolution of 1024 x1024 with 3 colours). 

Leica systems use a prism/slit technology (e.g. adjustable band-pass filters) to finely tune the recovered wavelengths to your needs. Further information.

Available objectives:

  • x10, (NA:0.3), Dry
  • x20, (NA:1), Water dipping
  • x63, (NA:0.9), Water dipping
  • x63, (NA:1.4), Oil.

Specific configurations of the two microscopes:


Light source:  7 laser lines (458, 476, 488, 496, 514, 561, 633 nm) 

Detectors: Channel Spectral Scan-head with 3 SP detectors.

Software: LAS-AF version 3.3


See: How to define the spectral bands that collect probe specific emission


Light source: Freely tuneable (1 nm precision) White Light Laser able to generate up to 8 simultaneous excitation lines of 470 – 670 nm continuum.

Detectors: Channel Spectral Scan-head detectors, including two SP conventional detector and 2 Hybrid Detector HyD for high sensitivity/ low noise imaging. 

Software: LAS-AF version 2.6. 


Further information

Charges: The use of these platforms is currently charged at £25/hour.

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