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Available Microscopes and Scanners

Catalogue of available instruments, their locations and specification highlights, and links to other info. For help choosing the right instrument for your needs, please contact us.

Our imaging instruments are mostly found at two sites:

  • Rockefeller Building, 5th floor
  • Anatomy Building basement, in the UCL-Zeiss Multiscale Imaging Centre (UZMIC)

There are a few instruments elsewhere - their locations are specified in the descriptions that follow, which highlight the features of each instrument.

NEW! Nikon AX R NSPARC inverted point scanning confocal microscope (Nikon_AXR) - Rockefeller, 5th floor, Room 503 (Available soon - being set up)

The Nikon_AXR is a confocal microscope capable of super-resolution imaging. The NSPARC array detector (much like the Airyscan detector) collects more light enabling super-resolution imaging (100nm XY and 300nm in Z). In addition, the resonant scanner allows for fast acquisition with minimal phototoxicity. Finally, with a wide range of silicon objectives and seven laser lines, including near infrared, the Nikon_AXR is a powerful microscope for live imaging and any user requiring super-resolution.

Technical details (Nikon_AXR)

•    Laser lines: 405, 445, 488, 514, 561, 640, 730nm 
•    Detectors: NSPARC, Ex Red NIR GaAsP, 3 GaAsP PMTs, 1 multi-alkali PMT, transmitted PMT
•    Objectives:4x 10x, 20x, 20x W, 25x sil, 40x sil, 40x W, 40x oil, 60x sil, 60x oil,60x W, 100x sil, 100x oil
•    Perfect focus system to prevent z-drift 
•    Capable of photostimulation
•    Incubator and CO2: capable of both heating and cooling
•    Near-infrared imaging (730nm laser and NIR detector)
•    Resonant scanner, which allows video rate imaging
•    DIC optics
•    Silicone objectives, allowing users to image deeper in tissue than other immersion objectives
•    Nikon Elements software includes a jobs module, allowing complex acquisition programming
•    Artificial intelligence-enhanced acquisition and analysis features: de-noising as well as auto-signal 
•    Large field of view: 25mm diagonal

Leica Mica inverted fluorescent widefield and confocal (Leica_Mica) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

The Leica_Mica unites both fluorescent widefield and confocal imaging in a single inverted microscope. The simplified computer interface makes it easy to use. We especially like the fact that it is fitted with four cameras/HyD detectors, which enable simultaneous acquisition of four fluorescent channels. The Leica_Mica is an excellent choice for any user that needs the speed and sensitivity of a widefield microscope and/or the sectioning capability of a point scanning confocal microscope. 

Photo of Biosciences Imaging Scanner - Leica Mica

Technical details (Leica_Mica)

•    Four 5MP CMOS cameras, colour camera

•    Four HyD detectors for confocal mode
•    Automatic low magnification tile scanning for mapping of whole slide/dish
•    Navigator allows for easy tile scanning for large samples.
•    Thunder and Lightning computational clearing and deconvolution
•    Artificial intelligence AIVIA for segmentation and analysis

Zeiss 980 Airyscan inverted point scanning confocal (Airy980_vis) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

•    Laser lines: 405nm, 488nm, 561nm, and 638nm 
•    Objectives: 1.6x, 10x, 20x, 63x water
•    Automatically establishes and maintains water immersion miniscus 
•    Incubator and CO2
•    Transmitted light imaging with modulation contrast enhancement

The Airy980_vis is an inverted scanning confocal with the option of extra sensitivity, speed and super-resolution (150nm xy and 400nm Z) provided by the Airyscan detector. The Airy980_vis is an excellent system for cells, organoids, and organisms ranging from C. elegans to zebrafish, either live or fixed. 

Photo of Biosciences Imaging Scanner - Zeiss 980 Airyscan inverted point scanning confocal
Technical details (Airy980_vis):
•    Laser lines: 405, 445, 488, 514, 561, 639nm 
•    Detectors: Airyscan2, 32 Channel GaAsP, two multi-alkali PMTs, transmitted PMT
•    Objectives: 10x, 20x, 40x W, 63x oil 
•    Image up to 10x faster with 8y Airyscan mulitiplex mode
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging
•    Definite focus to correct for z drift 
•    Photostimulation


 

Leica SP8 upright point scanning confocal with multiphoton (MP_opo) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

The MP_opo is an upright laser scanning confocal microscope that can do everything but slice bread. In addition to standard confocal scanning, the MP_opo is capable of multi-photon imaging for those needing to image deeper. Finally, for users who want to interrogate molecular interactions in vivo, the MP_opo is capable of multi-photon FLIM/FRET. 

Technical details (MP_opo)

Photo of Biosciences Imaging Scanner - Leica SP8 upright point scanning confocal with multiphoton (MP_opo)

•    Laser lines: 405, 458, 488, 514, 561, 633, mp680-1080 and opo 1100-1600nm
•    Detectors: four HyDs, one multi-alkali PMT, transmitted PMT, two non-descanned HyDs
•    Objectives: 10x 20x, 25xW, 40x, 63x, 100x
•    Multi-photon imaging up to 1600nm
•    Navigator module allows users to produce a slide preview to navigate the sample
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging
•    Photostimulation/ablation capable
•    Second harmonic imaging 

 

Leica SP8 upright point scanning confocal (SP8_vis) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

The SP8_vis is an upright scanning confocal microscope for general live and fixed sample imaging. We consider the SP8_vis an all-round workhorse confocal. We love the navigator function for tiling large samples, and the ability to set up time-lapse experiments with multiple points to image with independent z-stacks at each position.

Photo of Leica SP8 upright point scanning confocal (SP8_vis)
Technical details (SP8_vis)

•    Laser lines: 405, 458, 476, 488, 496, 514, 561 and 633nm
•    Detectors: two HyDs, two PMTs, transmitted PMT
•    Objectives: 10x 20x, 25xW, 40x, 63x, 100x
•    Navigator module allows users to produce a slide preview to navigate the sample
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging
•    Photostimulation


Leica SPE inverted point scanning confocal (SPEinv) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

Photo of Leica SPE inverted point scanning confocal (SPEinv)
The SPEinv is a simple inverted scanning confocal microscope for general confocal imaging of live and fixed samples. It is charged at £10 per hour (i.e., half the price of our normal confocal) as it only has a single detector. 

Technical details (SPEinv)
•    Laser lines: 405, 488, 561, and 647nm
•    Detector: single multi-alkali PMT
•    Objectives: 10x, 20x, 40x oil, and 63x oil
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cells

 

Zeiss Axio Scan.Z1 automated slide scanner - for fluorescent and stained specimens (AxioScan)

Zeiss Axio Scan.Z1 automated slide scanner - for fluorescent and stained specimens (AxioScan)
The AxioScan is an automated brightfield and fluorescent slide scanner which is capable of scanning up to one hundred slides in a session. It is equipped with two cameras: a colour camera for stained slides and a monochrome camera for fluorescently-labelled slides. It automatically finds focus and is capable of detecting tissue in order to prevent scanning of empty space. The AxioScan is excellent for tile-scanning slides containing sectioned tissues, cells or virtually any thin material mounted on a cover-slipped slide.

Technical details (AxioScan)
•    LED illumination
•    Objectives: 5x, 10x, 20x and 40x 
•    sCMOS camera and Color camera

Leica Thunder model organism imager, 3D fluorescent stereomicroscope (Fluo3D_Stereo) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

The Fluo3D_stereo is a stereo microscope for users who want to image small specimens, e.g., C. elegansdrosophila, zebrafish, mice and large organoids. Out of focus light is removed via computational clearing, resulting in clear volumetric data. The Fluo3D_stereo is fully automated in xy and z for ease of imaging. 

Leica Thunder model organism imager, 3D fluorescent stereomicroscope (Fluo3D_Stereo)
Technical details (Fluo3D_stereo)

•    LED illumination
•    sCMOS camera
•    DAPI, eGFP, mCherry, Cy5 channels
•    Navigator module allows easy tile scanning of large specimens


 

 

 

Olympus IX-81 ZDC Fluorescent Wide-field (Widefield) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

The Widefield is an inverted microscope for users needing wide-field fluorescence, transmitted, DIC or phase contrast imaging of fixed or live specimens. It can be used with multi-well plates as well as with glass slides or dishes. One of the best features of the Widefield is the low cost (£4 per hour), which makes it an excellent choice for long time-lapse experiments.

Technical details (Widefield)

Olympus IX-81 ZDC Fluorescent Wide-field (Widefield)

•    Metal halide light illumination
•    DAPI, eGFP, TRITC, CY5 channels

•    Hamamatsu Orca ER CCD camera
•    Objectives: 4x, 10x, 20x, 40x and 100x
•    ZDC z drift compensation
•    DIC optics and phase contrast
•    Fully automated in XY and Z 

•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging 
•    Micro-manager software, Zeiss_CD7

 

Molecular Devices ImageXpress inverted fluorescent wide-field high-content screening microscope (Xpress) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

The Xpress is a high-content microscope screening wide-field fluorescent microscope which is especially useful for imaging multi-well plates with glass or plastic bottoms. It is also compatible with slides or dishes.

Molecular Devices ImageXpress inverted fluorescent wide-field high-content screening microscope (Xpress)

Technical details (Xpress)
•    LED illumination
•    CCD camera

•    Objectives: 4x, 10x, 20x and 40x. 
•    Phase contrast optics
•    DAPI, GFP, Texas Red, Cy5 
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging. 
•    Perfect focus system prevents z drift over time

Renishaw inVia Qontor upright confocal raman microscope (Raman_InVia) - Rockefeller, 5th floor

Renishaw inVia Qontor upright confocal raman microscope (Raman_InVia)
The Raman_InVia microscope allows users to interrogate chemical or molecular differences in cells and tissues. Raman microscopes rely on the differences in the way molecules (e.g., nucleic acids, protein, lipids, metabolites, polysaccharides etc.) scatter light. Raman spectroscopy can detect these differences or “fingerprints”, allowing users to see intracellular distributions of molecules without labelling or staining. Examples of successful applications of Raman imaging include: identification of stem cells from a mixed cluster of cells; measuring the efficiency of drug uptake with cells; or following metabolite distributions within organelles over time in 3d.

 

 

Technical details (Raman_InVia)
•    532nm, 632nm, 785nm, and 833nm laser lines
•    Two cameras: Renishaw internal CCD and Andor Newton emCCD
•    Objectives:5x, 20x, 50x LWD, 60x W and 100x
•    high spatial resolution--just under a micrometre in xy
•    Automated xy stage for scanning samples.
•    LiveTrack automatically keeps focus over rough surfaces
•    Streamline feature allows fast scanning of sample with a line shaped laser
•    Pinhole allows confocal sectioning
•    WiRE software for data processing and analysis

Zeiss 980 Airyscan upright point scanning confocal with multi-photon (Airy980_MP) - Anatomy Basement, UZMIC
 

The upright Airy980_MP is an excellent choice for general confocal imaging with the additional benefits of an Airyscan detector and a multiphoton laser.  The Airyscan 2 detector provides sensitivity, speed and super-resolution (150nm xy and 400nm Z). The multiphoton laser allows deeper imaging. The Airy980_MP is an extremely flexible system that is excellent for imaging a wide variety of
live and fixed specimens. 

Technical details (Airy980_MP)

Zeiss 980 Airyscan upright point scanning confocal with multi-photon (Airy980_MP)

•    Laser lines: 405, 445, 488, 514, 561, 594, 639 and 690-1040nm multiphoton lasers
•    Detectors: Airyscan2, 32 Channel GaAsP, two PMTs, transmitted PMT, reflected, non-descanned two channel GaAsP and transmitted, two channel non-descanned GaAsP. 
•    Objectives: 10 W, 20x W, 25x multi-immersion water, silicone, glycerol and oil, 63x oil 
•    Photostimulation/ablation-capable
•    Spectral imaging 

•    Image:  up to 10x faster with 8y Airyscan mulitiplex mode.
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging. 
•    Second harmonic imaging

 

Zeiss LSM800 upright point scanning confocal (LSM_800) - Anatomy Basement, UZMIC

The LSM_800 is an upright scanning confocal microscope that is perfect for general confocal imaging of fixed samples. We consider the LSM_800 an excellent workhorse confocal microscope for a wide variety of imaging. The LSM_800 is the most sensitive of all of our Zeiss confocals in standard laser scanning mode, meaning that users can minimise laser exposure to their samples and still get good images. 

Zeiss LSM800 upright point scanning confocal (LSM_800)

 

Technical details (LSM_800)
•    Lasers: 405, 488, 561 and 640nm
•    Detectors: Two GaAsP detectors and a transmitted PMT
•    Objectives: 10x, 25x multi-immersion (water, glycerol and oil), 40x oil, 63x oil
 

 

 

Zeiss Elyra 7 inverted widefield microscope with  Lattice SIM, apotome, TIRF and SMLM (Elyra7SIM) - Anatomy Basement, UZMIC

Zeiss Elyra 7 inverted widefield microscope with  Lattice SIM, apotome, TIRF and SMLM (Elyra7SIM)
The Elyra7SIM is a dual camera super-resolution microscope with a variety of imaging modes: fluorescent widefield; Apotome structured illumination (SIM); Lattice SIM; TIRF; and single molecule localisation microscopy (SMLM) using STORM/PALM. In SIM modes, the sample is illuminated with patterned light (stripes or a lattice of spots), and multiple images are acquired, which allow out-of-focus light removal. Lattice SIM image processing results in super-resolution images (120nm xy, 300nm in z). Both SIM modes are excellent for live imaging, allowing fast imaging of large fields of view, with low light levels. If speed is your limiting factor, the Elyra7SIM can deliver optically sectioned images much faster than scanning confocals.  If you need even more resolution, the Elyra7SIM allows super-resolution imaging down to 20nm in xy and 50nm in z, using techniques like PALM and STORM.  It has proven particularly useful for small model organisms, C. elegans, yeast, bacterica and algae, as well as cells in culture.

 

Technical details (Elyra7SIM)
•    Laser lines:  405, 488, 561, 642nm
•    dual sCMOS cameras for simultaneous acquisition of two channels
•    Objectives: 10x, 20x, 40x W, 40x oil, 63x oil
•    Collect z-stacks 3x faster using Leap mode 
•    Burst mode allows acquisition at up to 255 frames per second
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging

Zeiss Z.1 lightsheet microscope (LS_Z1) - Anatomy Basement, UZMIC
The LS_Z1 light sheet microscope is the fastest microscope in the Biosciences Imaging facility for collecting 3d image volumes. Images are acquired by cameras, making the LS_Z1 10-30x faster than a scanning confocal. Since the light sheet only illuminates the focal plane of the imaging objective, no out-of-focus light is produced, and phototoxicity/photo-bleaching is vastly reduced. The method of mounting samples for the light sheet microscope is quite different from that for other systems, requiring suspension of the sample in a liquid filled chamber, which allows them to be imaged from multiple angles. The LS_Z1 is excellent for small organism live imaging (zebrafish larvae, fly embryos, etc.) and anything that requires speed (e.g., calcium imaging). The LS_Z1 also supports imaging of cleared specimens, making it a great way to image cleared brains or other cleared samples.  


Zeiss Z.1 lightsheet microscope (LS_Z1)
Technical details (LS_Z1)

•    Laser lines: 405, 488, 515, 561, 638nm
•    Dual sCMOS cameras for simultaneous acquisition of two channels
•    Multi-angle acquisitions can be combined resulting in isotropic z resolution
•    Zoom: 0.36-2.5x
•    5x, 5x clearing, 10x, 20x W, 20x clearing, 63x W
•    Peltier heated and cooled stage for live imaging
•    Chamber can accommodate samples of up to 7x7x7mm
 

 

Zeiss Cell discoverer CD7 inverted wide-field microscope (Zeiss_CD7) - Anatomy Basement, UZMIC

The Zeiss_CD7 is a fully automated, fluorescent and transmitted, wide-field imaging machine. It accepts slides, petri dishes and multiwell plates with plastic or glass bottoms. It automatically finds focus, and the definite focus keeps images sharp throughout long time-lapse experiments.  It is excellent for small model organisms, cells in culture and organoids. We especially like that Zeiss re-designed objectives that are extremely bright and autocorrect, allowing clear imaging through thick plastic plates or non-standard coverslips.

Zeiss Cell discoverer CD7 inverted wide-field microscope (Zeiss_CD7)
Technical details (Zeiss_CD7)
•    LED illumination
•    sCMOS camera
•    Objectives: 2.5x, 5x, 10x, 20x, 25x, 40x, 50x and 100x
•    Objectives autocorrect for spherical aberration.
•    Auto-immersion water dispenser for water objectives
•    Definite focus to prevent z drift in time-lapse experiments
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging
•    Robot for automated plate loading

 

Nikon XT H 225 CT scanner-- 3d X-ray computer tomography (Nikon_CT_Scanner) - Anatomy Basement, UZMIC 

Nikon XT H 225 CT scanner-- 3d X-ray computer tomography (Nikon_CT_Scanner)
The Nikon_CT_Scanner is for samples that are not optically transparent and require the penetrating power of X-rays.  It has been used on a wide variety of samples from fossils, bones, fixed tissue, engineering samples and broken binoculars.  Some biological samples require application of contrast enhancing agents, otherwise sample preparation is minimal. 

Please note: there is more information and links to booking this scanner here.

Technical details (Nikon_CT_Scanner) 
•    Maximum voltage: 225 kV
•    ASTM E2597 flat panel detector
•    Detector: 2880 x 2880 pixel matrix; 150 micron pixel size; 30 fps
•    Maximum resolution: 3 micron spot size
•    Maximum specimen size: 20 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm
•    Maximum sample weight: 15 kg
•    Maximum CT swept diameter: 280 mm
•    Maximum FID - 970 mm (nominal); moveable FID
•    Target options consist of:  reflection, transmission and multi-metal

 

Bruker SkyScan 1172 Desktop microCT scanner (Bruker_CT_Scanner) - Anatomy Basement, UZMIC

The Bruker_CT_Scanner is an X-ray micro-computed tomography scanner which produces 3D images of both internal and external features of a wide range of sample types. It can scan samples as small as 100µm and as large as 60mm diameter x 90mm high. The Bruker_CT_Scanner has a 100kV x-ray which is suitable for soft biological tissues, minerals and a limited range in metals. Examples of samples scanned: teeth, bone, archaeological artifacts such as potsherds, pharmaceutical devices, rocks and minerals, fossils, engineering samples, zebrafish, plants etc.

Bruker SkyScan 1172 Desktop microCT scanner (Bruker_CT_Scanner)
 Technical details (Bruker_CT_Scanner)

•    Resolution down to 1µm
•    Detector: 11 Megapixel CCD-camera (4000X2300) 
•    Pixel size at maximum magnification: 0.7µm to 25µm
•    50mm field of view
•    Thermal drift correction
•    5 filters for beam hardening compensation

 

 

Nikon Sora super-resolution spinning disc confocal microscope (SoRa) – MRC LMCB Building, G08

For live imaging where speed and gentleness are required, the SoRa spinning disc confocal microscope is an excellent option. Unlike a point scanning confocal, the SoRa spinning disc illuminates multiple points simultaneously and is a camera-based system for fast acquisition.  The SoRa is capable of working in two spinning disc modes: normal, and SoRa super-resolution mode. In super-resolution mode, resolution is improved approximately 1.4x (150 xy and 320 Z). 

Nikon Sora super-resolution spinning disc confocal microscope (SoRa)
 Technical details (SoRa)
•    Laser lines: 355, 405, 445, 488, 515, 594, 561, 638nm 
•    Dual sCMOS cameras
•    Objectives: 4x, 10x, 20x, 40x oil, 60x oil, 100x Oil, 20x W, 40x W, 60x W, 25x Sil, 40x Sil, 100x Sil
•    Nikon Elements with JOBS and Ai modules
•    Incubator and CO2, capable of both heating and cooling.
•    DIC optics
•    CoolLEDLED light source
•    Okolab incubator with heating and cooling plus CO2
•    Photoablation/photostimulation
•    Silicone objectives allowing users to image deeper in tissue than other immersion objectives.
•    Nikon Elements software includes Jobs module allowing complex acquisition programming
•    Large field of view: 25mm diagonal

 

Molecular Devices ImageXpress micro confocal high-content screening microscope (Xpress_MSB) - Medical Sciences Building, Room 126

Xpress_MSB is a high content screening microscope, which gives users the option of wide-field imaging or spinning disk confocal imaging. Especially useful for imaging multi-well plates with glass or plastic bottoms but also compatible with slides and dishes.

Molecular Devices ImageXpress micro confocal high-content screening microscope (Xpress_MSB)
 Technical details (Xpress_MSB)

•    405nm, 445nm, 475nm, 520nm, 555nm, 640nm, 730nm laser lines
•    sCMOS camera with optional spinning disk 
•    DAPI, CFP, FITC, YFP, TRITC, TxRed, Cy5, Cy7
•    4x, 10x, 20x 40x, long working distance 40x and 60x. 
•    Phase contrast optics
•    Incubator and CO2 for live cell imaging
•    Perfect focus system to prevent Z drift over time
•    Robot friendly plate holder

AWAITED (on order) 3i Marianas LightSheet Dual View with Cleared Tissue Objectives (diSPIM) – booking will be via UCL LMCB, details awaited

The diSPIM (dual inverted Selective Plane Illumination Microscope) is a gentle and fast way to image live, fixed or cleared samples. At the heart of the diSPIM are two microscope objectives arranged at right angles to one another and at 45 degrees from the specimen. The illumination objective creates a light sheet at the focal plane of the imaging objective. Since both objectives are symmetric, the two alternate between illumination and acquisition.  In this way, two orthogonal data sets of images are collected, which can be fused to improve z-resolution (isotropic resolution 360nm xyz). Unlike many other light sheet microscopes, specimens can be mounted in dishes.

3i Marianas LightSheet Dual View with Cleared Tissue Objectives (diSPIM)
 Technical details (diSPIM)
•    Laser lines: 488, 561,
•    Objectives:10x W, 40x W, 16x multi-immersion
•    Cameras: Two ORCA Flash 4.0 V3 sCMOS
•    Incubator with temperature, CO2 and humidity control
•    Analysis workstation
•    Slidebook software
•    Can be used with cleared tissue