ECRC Imaging Facilities

Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre Imaging Facilities

Light microscopy plays an important role within the CRUK Edinburgh Centre, allowing scientists to visualise biology as it happens on the scale from a single cell to whole tissues. We have a range of cutting edge instrumentation to cover our researchers imaging needs within the centre and also contribute towards collaborations throughout the University of Edinburgh.

Booking system

Contact: Martin Lee


Multiphoton Microscope

 A bespoke multiphoton microscope was custom built in a joint venture between the CRUK Edinburgh Centre and The University of Edinburgh’s Engineering department.  Multiphoton microscopy excels at imaging within in-vivo tissue as it allows deeper imaging of fluorescence as well as visualisation of many cell and tissue components with label free imaging techniques. 

The CRUK Edinburgh Centre is also involved in pushing new techniques and imaging methods in the field.  Thanks to the unique design of our microscope we are particularly active in the area of vibrational imaging, a way to image drugs and cells without using fluorescent tags.  Working alongside chemists from The University of Edinburgh, we have been imaging the uptake of anti-cancer drugs without bulky fluorescent markers attached.  This is an exciting step allowing us to truly understand how drugs are taken up into tumours.

System details: Multiphoton Microscope

Body: Olympus FV1000 with mini scanhead, IX81 frame with automated stage

Objective: 25x 1.05 NA Water Immersion

Lasers: APE picoEMERALD 720nm-990nm 5ps, 1064nm 6ps

Detectors: 4 PMTs, 2 channel FLIM, Photodiode with Lock-in Amplifier for SRS

Additional: Equipped with anaesthetic vaporizer machine and incubated chamber for live imaging

Olympus FV1000 Confocal Microscope

Confocal imaging remains a gold standard in optical imaging for biologists, offering high resolution 3D images on both live and fixed cells.  Our researchers use fluorescent staining to light up different parts of the cell that they are interested in and the confocal microscope allows them to see in high detail changes that are occurring within the cells themselves. 

System Information: Olympus FV1000

Body: IX81 with automated stage

Objectives: 4x, 10x, 20x, 40x, 60x (oil), 20x (water), 40x (water)

Lasers: 6 lasers from 405nm-633nm

Detectors: 3 PMTs, 2 with Spectral detection

Additional: Equipped with anaesthetic vaporizer machine and incubated chamber for live imaging. SIM scanner for FRAP, FLIP and photo-activation.

Olympus BX51

Our widefield epifluorescent microscope allows quick and easy access to a simple to use but using high quality objective lenses.  This allows our researchers to quickly asses their experimental setups before using other imaging platforms but also serves as an excellent imaging platform itself when imaging flat samples such as histology sections or single cell layers. 

Body: IX51

Objectives: 4x, 10x, 20x, 40x, 60x (oil)

Fluorescence: Metal Halide Lamp with DAPI, FITC and Texas Red Filters

Detectors: DP71 colour camera


(For support in building the microscope we would like to thank: Cancer Research UK (grant C157/A12753), The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, The Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit, the Caledonia Events Committee (CRUK grant C157/A16508), and the Clerk Maxwell Cancer Fund. This work was supported by Cancer Research UK (program grant C157/A15703) and the European Research Council Advanced Investigator Grant (grant number 294440 Cancer Innovation to MCF).)

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