Bioimaging Research

The Bioimaging Research Hub provides state of the art technology and expertise in light microscopy, from experimental concept to completion.

Confocal microscopy at the Bioimaging Research Hub
Confocal microscopy at the Bioimaging Research Hub

The hub works in partnership with researchers across Cardiff University and GW4 member institutions. We also provide innovative imaging solutions across biological, chemical and material science to the industrial sector.

Full technical support, training and advice on the use of all of our imaging equipment is available to users on a chargeable basis.

Our services

We offer a number of histological processing and slide preparation services, including:

  • Paraffin wax processing and embedding
  • Wax microtomy and slide preparation
  • Histological staining - routinely Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) but contact Derek Scarborough (scarborough@cardiff.ac.uk) to discuss other staining methods

Prices for internal (School of Biosciences) users are as follows:

  • 55p for production of a single wax block from a sample
  • 30p per mounted slide - either stained with H&E or unstained coated slides for immunohistochemistry

Users outside the School of Biosciences should email Derek Scarborough (scarborough@cardiff.ac.uk) for a quote.

The Hub is home to a state of the art Zeiss LSM880 Airyscan confocal microscope, a Leica SP2 Confocal for live and fixed cell imaging applications, and advanced software for rendering of 3D/4D microscopy datasets. This equipment makes it possible for researchers to undertake a broad range of activities, including:

  • Confocal visualisation of sectioned biological material, live cells/tissues, engineered constructs and non-biological materials
  • Multi-channel fluorescence, reflectance & transmitted light imaging modalities
  • Volume rendering, 3D visualisation and animation
  • Time-lapse imaging
  • Photo-bleaching techniques (FRAP, FRET FLIP)
  • Fluorochrome co-localisation analysis
  • Tile scanning & stitching
  • Fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM) and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS)

A live cell imaging suite within the Bioimaging Research Hub houses a spinning disc confocal system for fast, time-lapse live cell imaging applications. This system enables high speed, multi-position (x,y,z), multi-colour fluorescence and transmitted light image acquisition. Support systems for live cell imaging (i.e. gas and incubation) are also available within the facility.

A state of the art Zeiss Lightsheet Z.1 system with environmental control allows multi-view, multi-colour imaging of thick fluorescent samples with high spatio-temporal resolution.

We have a range of advanced Olympus BX and Leica DM series microscopes with digital image capture, which can be used for the following:

  • Brightfield microscopy
  • Darkfield microscopy
  • Phase contrast microscopy
  • Nomarski differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy
  • Polarising microscopy
  • Epifluorescence microscopy

Our Objective Imaging Surveyor slide scanning system enables high resolution scanning and digitisation of whole tissue sections for virtual histology and pathology.

We offer transmitted light and epifluorescence imaging of very small samples, including whole-mounts, culture plates, gels, engineered constructs and tissue sections, as well as general purpose photography.

Our Biospace Lab PhotonIMAGER Optima has full spectrum imaging capability, from blue to near-infrared, in bioluminescence and fluorescence of living tissues.

A Thermo Fisher NanoDrop 3300 fluorospectrometer allows quantitation of picogram quantities of DNA, RNA and protein in microvolume solutions.

A Zeiss PALM MicroBeam laser microdissector, located at the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, facilitates isolation of DNA, RNA and protein from histological sections (paraffin wax or cryo) and live cells.

Two 3D printers:

Ultimaker 3 Extended which is a dual extrusion 3D printer capable of generating high quality two colour 3D models up to 30cm tall from volume datasets.

A Zortrax M200 3D printer allows high resolution 3D printing of volume datasets.

Both printers accept .stl, .obj, .dxf and .3mf 3D printer file formats.

Almost all the work in my group requires optical imaging and the service provided by the Bioimaging Research Hub is the most reliable and productive I have encountered over my 50 years at Cardiff University, or indeed of those at other establishments world wide. Collaboration with Dr Tony Hayes almost invariably results in publication of images of the highest quality.

Professor David Lloyd, Honorary Professor

Contact us

For more information on our Bioimaging services, please contact:

Dr Peter Watson

Dr Peter Watson

Senior Lecturer in Molecular Cell Biology, Academic lead of imaging facilities, Postgraduate Research Teaching Co-ordinator, Deputy Director for Postgraduate Education

Email:
watsonpd@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 9042
Dr Anthony Hayes

Dr Anthony J. Hayes

Facility Manager, Bioimaging Unit, School of Biosciences

Email:
hayesaj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6611

For more information on our Histology services, please contact:

Derek Scarborough

Derek Scarborough

Research Technician

Email:
scarborough@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 5139