UCL Faculty of Life Sciences


Experimental optics

Advanced imaging is evolving rapidly with journals such as Nature Methods publishing extensions and enhancements to this field in every new issue.

Turnkey, commercial equipment is essential to provide researchers with stable and easy access to some of these technologies. However, these systems are only made available 3 to 5 years after methodological discoveries, due to the slow development and release cycles of commercial manufactures. Additionally, these systems are not designed to be easily upgradable, considerably reducing their impact over time with the rapid evolution of the field. 

The LMCB has established the Experimental Optics Laboratory to promote rapid access to new developments and prototype the next-generation of imaging technologies. This space has been fully designed and engineered to provide outstanding environmental settings to develop novel microscopy. It is light and vibration isolated, as well as, pressure, energy and temperature controlled. It features a dedicated fibre-optic network connection to a CPU and GPU farm capable of high-performance computing on the generated data. 

Currently the laboratory hosts 4 systems:

  • 2 experimental super-resolution microscopes in development
  • 2 light-sheet microscopes designed by 3i, a Lattice Light-Sheet and a diSPIM

Selected publications


Ricardo Henriques (Technology leader)


  • LMCB Alpha | TIRF, PALM, STORM and SRRF microscope 
  • Sulfoscope | Widefield, SRRF and SIM microscope
  • 3i diSPIM | Dual-View Inverted Selective Plane Illumination Microscope
  • 3i LLS | Lattice Light-Sheet Microscope

User policies

Though housed in the LMCB and associated to the ‘Quantitative Imaging and NanoBioPhysics’ research group led by Ricardo Henriques, the laboratory is potentially accessible to UCL researchers, as well as external users, on a collaboration basis. Please contact Ricardo Henriques for details.