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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. 

Our expertise and facilities include:

  • optical microscopy
  • sample processing
  • laboratory and clinical research Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
  • digital image management, analysis, processing and visualisation.

We strive to train researchers and students at all levels to use our range of techniques for their own work. We operate a cost-recovery system and offer help and advice to all our collaborators on obtaining these costs through normal research funding. Our small team has over 35 years accumulated experience in research Bioimaging.

Currently available equipment includes:

Leica Microsystems

  • DMRA2 upright microscope with colour histology camera
  • DM6000 upright microscope with AF6000 multi-channel fluorescence
  • CM 3050S cryostat microtome for frozen thin sectioning.

Microm (Thermo Scientific Richard-Allen)

  • 440E sledge microtome for frozen thick sections
  • 325 rotary microtome for paraffin embedded thin sections.

Campden Instruments

  • Vibroslice vibrating microtome for wet tissue thick sectioning

MBF Bioscience

  • Neurolucida and Stereo Investigator with automated stage on DM6000

Carl Zeiss Microscopy

  • LSM 510 META NLO upright confocal and multi-photon laser scanning microscope
  • LSM 5 Pascal inverted confocal laser scanning microscope


  • IX70 inverted microscope with basic fluorescence and transmitted light contrast
  • IX71 inverted microscope with basic fluorescence and transmitted light contrast

VSBL-built instruments

  • 1.05µm wavelength laboratory OCT for research ocular imaging