Skip to main content

Facilities and equipment

Our School is housed in a dedicated optometry facility enabling high quality teaching, clinical practice and research in situ.

In 2008, we celebrated the official opening of the Optometry and Vision Sciences building at Maindy Road. The project received the UK's biggest single investment in eye care, totaling £22M.

The purpose built facility brings research, teaching and patient clinics together in one place. This enables us to translate research into improved patient care.

The School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is able to provide an excellent service and an excellent focus for the future of eye care in Wales.I believe that the facility is a beacon not only for Wales but also for the UK, Europe and the World.

Ruth Marks Director, RNIB Cymru

Some hi-tech equipment we use in our research is described below:

Vision Science Bioimaging Labs (VSBL)

VSBL is a collaborative lab engaging with researchers across Cardiff University and beyond in bioimaging methods and techniques inspired by the needs of vision research. We welcome enquiries from potential collaborators.

Read more about Vision Science Bioimaging Labs (VSBL)


We use electron microscopes for studying proteins and other molecules in the eye at very high magnification (up to x 50,000). We have a comprehensive suite set of three Zeiss and Jeol Scanning and Transmission Electron Microscopes including a 200KV Transmission machine.

The Jeol 3View serial block face Scanning Electron Microscope allows high magnification imaging of tissue in 3 dimensions.This is one of only a few such machines in the UK that is dedicated to eye research. It allows us to understand three-dimensional structures of tissues, which hopefully will help to drive new treatments for eye diseases.

This equipment has led to a number of high profile publications and significant grant income.

Synchrotron x-ray diffraction

Students and staff of the School have the opportunity to use synchrotron x-ray diffraction facilities throughout Europe and as far afield as Japan. These facilities use synchrotron radiation to produce very intense x-ray beams, for structural analysis of biological tissue.

We use these to conduct research into the structural basis for the transparency and focusing power of the cornea and lens. We can also investigate structural changes, which cause diseases such as cataract formation and keratonconus.