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Confocal laser scanning microscope with super-resolution capability

The Zeiss LSM880 Airyscan Fast system is a brand new state-of-the art, fast scanning (18 frames/sec @ 512x512 pixels single channel, 5 frames/second @ 512x512 pixels triple channel) super-resolution confocal microscope (max 140nm lateral and 400nm axial resolution).

It comprises an upright, fully-motorised (X,Y,Z) Zeiss Axio Imager 2 with 10x, 20x, 40x & 63x objectives (see below) which supports epifluorescence (RGB), brightfield and Nomarski differential interference contrast microscopy.

The upright stand is equipped with a Solent Scientific incubation system with temperature control making it possible to image living material in addition to fixed, sectioned biological material.

The LSM 880 system has 8 laser lines and a range of ultra-sensitive detectors including the Airyscan detector with Fast module that are run through the Zen 2 LSM software platform.

Make/model Zeiss LSM 880 upright confocal microscope with Airyscan
Details State-of-the-art, fast scanning super-resolution confocal system with fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM)
Facility Bioimaging Research Hub
School School of Biosciences

The software includes modules for 3D/4D reconstruction and animation; spectral scanning; analysis and quantification of co-localisation; spectral unmixing, advanced tiling, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and photo-bleaching (FRAP, FRET). Additionally, via Picoquant’s upgrade module, the system is fully-equipped for  fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM).


  • Plan Neofluar 10x/0.3
  • Plan Apochromat 20x/0.8 air
  • Plan Neofluar 40x/1.3 oil
  • C-Apochromat 40x/1.1 water
  • Plan-Apochromat 63x/1.4 oil
  • C-Apochromat 63x/1.2 water
  • DIC on 20x, 40x, 63x objectives

The LSM 880 system has 8 laser lines and a range of ultra-sensitive detectors including the Airyscan detector module that are run through the Zen 2 LSM software platform.


  • Diode 405nm CW
  • Diode 440nm pulsed
  • Diode 483nm pulsed
  • Argon multi-line 458/488/514nm (25mW)
  • DPSS 561nm (20mW)
  • HeNe 594nm (5mW)
  • HeNe 633nm (2mW)


  • 2 x PMT
  • 1 x GaAsP (32 channel) array detector
  • 2 x BiG detectors for photon counting
  • Airyscan detection with Fast module
  • Transmitted light detector

Internal users can book the equipment using the shared Outlook calendar ‘BIOSI - E/0.03 - Confocal/Lightsheet Microscopy’.

Find out how to book equipment through Outlook.

The booking will be reviewed and then accepted by a member of Bioimaging Research Hub staff or an alternative time/date proposed.

Please keep to your allotted booking time. You will be charged for the time that you have reserved the instrument for, irrespective of usage. The minimum booking time is 1 hour.

Cancellations should be made at least 24 hours in advance. If you fail to turn up for a booking you will be charged.

Please contact Bioimaging Hub for details of costs -

All users must be trained and registered by Bioimaging Hub staff before using any of the instruments within the Hub.

User guides

To comply with Cardiff University Health and Safety Policy, individuals must receive appropriate training before using any of the imaging equipment within the Bioimaging Research Hub and be aware of the risks involved in its use.

Furthermore, for use of the confocal laser scanning microscopes, users must:

  1. Receive training from a member of Bioimaging Research Hub staff (indirect training from other users will not be sufficient).
  2. Read and understand the latest Risk Assessment for the Bioimaging Research Hub.
  3. Complete a Registration of Laser Worker form.

If top-up training is required, please notify Hub staff when making a booking and this can be provided prior to your planned session.

All users of the Bioimaging Research Hub are expected to observe the following. If they fail to comply they will lose their access rights:

  • Food and drink are not permitted within the facility.
  • All waste material (including laboratory gloves) should be properly disposed of outside of the facility – we are not responsible for your waste.
  • Coats and bags when left on the floor in a low light environment represent a tripping hazard. Either hang them on the internal door hooks or, better still, do not bring them into the imaging suites.
  • Do not use any equipment that you have not been properly trained for.  All users should familiarise themselves with the appropriate risk assessments for the procedures being undertaken.
  • All USB data storage devices must be virus checked before plugging them into any of our systems.
  • All systems should be correctly powered down at the end of your session and usage correctly logged in the database.

Get in touch

Dr Anthony J Hayes

+44 (0)29 2087 6611


Sir Martin Evans Building
Museum Avenue
CF10 3AX

Opening hours

Monday-Friday, 09:00-17:00. Outside these hours, users will require proximity card access rights - please contact Anthony Hayes ( to arrange.