News and Events

Digital Camera Workshop

Photometrics will be visiting University of Leicester on Tuesday 24th March to hold educational camera comparison sessions which will be held in HWB room 0/40B. They will demonstrate the latest back illuminated sCMOS, which have 95% QE for the ultimate in sensitivity, and explain how this differs to the technologies used before.

Please stop by to:

-              Learn more about the differences between CMOS cameras and CCD/EMCCD’s

-              Test the latest 95% sCMOS cameras

-              Discuss which technologies are most relevant to you

They will provide an overview of different camera types and the advantages they offer for your applications in terms of resolution, speed, field of view and signal to noise. They will show how to optimize settings, how to calculate noise and how to calculate signal. If you are a frequent microscope user doing quantitative image analysis sign in for one of the sessions to understand the correct use of a digital camera.

If you haven’t had the chance to test the new generation of sCMOS cameras or would like to learn more about the cameras you use, please come and meet us.

To book a 1 hour slot please contact or


Funding for 2 new microscope systems

We are very pleased to announce that we have received funding for a further 2 new microscope systems after the funding of the Vectra Polaris slide scanner last year (see below).

Our bid for a 'High speed super-resolution confocal laser scanning microscope for sub-diffraction analysis at the multi-user Leicester Advanced Imaging Facility' to the BBSRC 18ALERT Multi-User equipment call led by Dr James Higgins (GGB) in close collaboration with Dr Kayoko Tanaka (MCB) and Dr Kees Straatman (AIF) has been successful. The grant starts from the 1st of July so we will start the process to purchase a new confocal system with super resolution capacity.

We also received the news that our application to the Research Equipment and Infrastructure Fund – Stand Alone call 2018/19 from the University of Leicester for a 'Label free Imaging system with kinetic cytometry capability' has been awarded. This application was led by the manager of AIF Dr Kees Straatman. We hope to be able to purchase this system during the summer and install it in July/August.

Vectra Polaris slide scanner

The AIF has purchased a PerkinElmer Vectra Polaris slide scanner with funding from the University Research Equipment and Infrastructure Fund, LD3 and AIF. The system will be installed in the RKCSB room 533 but all users will have access to the system. An extra software licence will be installed on one of the analysis computers on the main university site

The Vectra Polaris can screen slides in bright field, multi-colour fluorescence and multi-spectral mode;

The difference between multi-colour and multi-spectral is that with multi-spectral we can separate 9 different colours  (DAPI included) as well as separating autofluorescence from the real signal by taking a full spectral image and it needs the PerkinElmer analyse software to first separate the different channels before further analysis. With the multi-colour we use filter cubes to separate different colours and any image analysis software for whole slides analysis can be used for further analysis.

InCellis demonstration Wednesday  25 July

On Wednesday 25 July the AIF will host a demonstration of the InCellis Cell Imager from Bertin Instruments. The demonstration will be held between 10.30 and 14.00 in the Wolfson Foundation microscope room, Adrian Building, room G1. The InCellis can be used for brightfield and fluorescent image acquisition and can calculate the cell culture confluency and the cell transfection efficiency in a few clicks. Follow the link for more information.

No appointment required, just pass by.

New booking system - April 2018

Over the next few months we will introduce a new calendar system to book microscopes in AIF. We plan to move to PPMS from Stratocore. We will start a trial with the calendar for the Leica SP5 confocal laser scanning microscope from Sunday 22 April. If this is an positive experience we will slowly move other microscope systems over to PPMS.

The advantage of the new booking system is that it will keep automatically track of the booking hours as well as the actual hours used on the microscope and the cancelled hours. This will improve transparency for charging and audit purposes.

Your username will stay the same but you have to create a new password via the "If you do not remember your password, you can follow these instructions" option on the login page. You will be sent a password via email. This means that I won't be able to recover forgotten passwords! Please let me know if you encounter problems with booking a microscope using PPMS.


Chemistry Seminar 31 January 2017

On Wednesday 31st January at 3.30pm, Philipp Kakura, from the University of Oxford, will be giving a talk entitled “Weighing single molecules with light” in LTB of the George Porter (Chemistry) Building.

Philipp does some really novel single molecule measurements on biological molecules using label-free strategies; this includes looking at the dynamics of lipid rafts, imaging of microtubules, measuring the diffusion of molecules between compartments in the cell, and various in vivo studies using vibrational spectroscopy.

You are also welcome to come to the pre-seminar tea and biscuits in the MML.

Andrew Hudson


Colour camera installed on Nikon3 (July 2016)

A Nikon DS-Fi2 colour camera with DS-U3 controller has been installed on Nikon microscope 3 in the MSB. This upgrade will allow faster imaging of immunohistochemistry samples within AIF. Nikon 3 is no equipped with 2 cameras and the user has to chose which camera to use (Andor EM-CCD or Nikon DS-Fi2) when opening the NIS-Elements software. The purchase was funded by income generated by the ImageJ workshops organized by AIF. We are looking into the possibility to further upgrade this system for more advanced slide scanning.


2D array scanning microscope installed (July 2016)

The new VisiTech 2D array scanning microscope has now been installed in the Henry Wellcome Building microscope room 3/51. In the next weeks this system will be tested and slowly introduced into the facility. The CBS workshop will build an environmental chamber for this system to facilitate live cell imaging. People who want to make use of this system or are interested in testing their samples on this microscope please contact Dr Kees Straatman (krs5).(more soon...).


problems accessing R-drive (18 May 2016)

IIT services have started migrating data on the R-drive from the old storage infrastructure to the new. We are informed that while this process is underway there will be reduced performance for the service. However, several users have reported very slow access to the R-drive as well as problems with accessing data on the R-drive. Several user have also reported that they cannot see their data on the R-drive. IT has been informed about this problem. NO DATA HAS BEEN LOST but it seems that the security settings which worked on the old server cannot be fully transferred to the new server. This means that IT has to make changes to these settings what is happening at the moment. Hopefully everybody will have access to their data early next week at the latest. If not, please contact me (krs5).

The total migration process might take up to six weeks to complete so there might be slow access to the R-drive for some time although IT expected that performance will gradually improve as the data migration progresses and data is accessed directly from the new infrastructure.


Funding for high speed confocal microscope

Just before Christmas the AIF was informed that the University had awarded us funding for a high speed confocal imaging microscope and we have now ordered the VT-infinity3 with VT-Hawk from VisiTech International. This system will allow image acquisition up to 1000 fps and it will be equipped with a 405 nm laser for DAPI/Hoechst as well as for photo-activation experiments, a 488 nm laser for GFP/Alexa 488/Cy2, a 561 nm laser for RFP/Alexa 561/595/Cy3 and a 642 nm laser for far red fluorochromes like Alexa 647 and Cy5. The VT-Hawk will include a FRAP upgrade for bleaching experiments. The planning is to have a system in place before August this year. For further information please contact Dr Kees Straatman (krs5).


CLEM demonstration 29 February - 11 march (New Dates!)

The Electron Microscopy Facility together with the Advanced Imaging Facility will organize a lecture and a demonstration of the Delphi Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM) system from 23 February – 7 March. Date and time of the lecture will be announced later.Delphi CLEM system

The Delphi system is a unique system which combines fluorescence and Scanning Electron Microscopy in one system. Fluorescence microscopy provides precise localization of your protein of interest, while electron microscopy provides detailed structural information with nanoscale resolution and the images are automatically overlaid. Both fluorescence antibodies and fluorescence proteins can be used and the system can be used with sections as well as on whole cultured cells.

Image; Neurological tracers in songbird brain. Samples courtesy of T. Templier and R.H.R Hahnloser, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich.

If you are interested to test this system we would like to ask you to provide a short description of your samples and the type of fluorescence labelling you use by the 1st of December due to the fact that material has to be prepared in a special way to view both fluorescence and SEM in the same sample. This will give us some time to discuss with the product specialists how to prepare your material and to setup a time table to prepare the materials.

Please contact Natalie Allcock or Kees Straatman with sample information or if you have questions.

Natalie Allcock
Electron Microscopy Facility
ext.: 3370

Kees Straatman
Advanced Imaging Facility
ext.: 7085/2263

Delphi brochure
Biotechniques TechNews: Correlating light and electron microscopy


Nikon4 update funded

The AIF has been awarded £27,619 by the University Infrastructure Fund to upgrade Nikon microscope 4 to match the specifications of Nikon microscope 3. Nikon 3 is heavily used for long term live cell imaging experiments and the upgrade will expand the capacity in the AIF for this type of experiments, as well as improved access to users who use the system for immunohistochemistry tissue imaging and zebrafish imaging. The upgrade includes a Hamamatsu sCMOS Orca-Flash4.0v2 camera, a Perfect Focus System (PFS) and necessary hardware (objectives and computer) and software upgrades . The upgrades will be introduced from August.


Test license for Olympus Super Resolution technology (FV-OSR)

We plan to have a test license for Olympus new super resolution technology on our Olympus FV1000 confocal from Thursday 23 of April till July 21. This technology will allow us to require images in the green and red channel with a resolution of around 120 nm in xy, improving the current resolution with almost a factor 2. We also expect an improvement in z-resolution due to a decreased pinhole size but have not received information about this. This technology allows for 3D super resolution imaging in the same way as you would take 3D confocal images. No special fluorochromes are required, normal standard samples can be use. However it is expected that scanning will be slower to collect enough photons for a good signal to noise ratio, so fixed samples will work most likely better. But we also hope to test live samples.

More news will follow.

If you are interested in testing this new technology using your samples please contact Dr Kees Straatman (krs5) to make an appointment.


Grant code documentation

All users of the AIF are asked to note down their grant code for the work they do in the AIF on the user sheet. Due to changes in the way charges are made and to be able to keep track of changes to grant codes this will now be compulsory.


Booking restrictions for Olympus FV1000 confocal laser scanning microscope

Due to high demand for this system booking restriction come into force for new bookings on the calendar. These restrictions are the same as the restriction on the Leica confocal laser scanning microscope.

On Monday to Friday between 8 am and 6 pm you are allowed to have two active booking slots in a three week period. When you have used the first slot you can book a new slot. So you cannot have more than two active bookings at any given time. For slides a slot is maximal half a day, for live cell imaging the slot is maximal 24 hours. If your experiment takes longer than 2 days try to plan it over the weekend. Be aware that there are some weekends (see below) that there is no electricity in the microscope room and that you don't have access during day time on several other weekends.

Please let me know if this is causing any problem

Closure of Wolfson Foundation Light Microscopy Facility in May and June

We have been informed that there will be no access to the Adrian Building in the weekends below due to work on the electrics in the building.

During the power shutdown weekends, building users will be prohibited from entering the building for safety reasons.

Please plan your experiments accordingly.

Sat 10th and Sun 11th of May 2014.

Sat 17th May 2014 (no electricity in the microscope room)

Sat 24th and Sun 25th of May 2014.

Sat 31st May and Sun 1st June 2014.

Sat 7th June and Sun 8th June 2014 (no electricity in the microscope room)

Funding for two GaAsP detectors for the Olympus FV1000 confocal laser scanning microscope

(Oct 2013)

The AIF has been awarded funding by the University Infrastructure Fund Committee for two GaAsP detectors for the Olympus FV1000 confocal laser scanning microscope in the Adrian Building. Like with the new detectors on the Leica confocal this will improve the sensitivity of the system dramatically.


Nikon 3 upgrade to screening station

(Sept 2013)

The Nikon3 microscope (TIRF and LEDs) has now been upgraded with JOBS screening software what allows slide and multi-well plate screening using the sensitive Andor EM-CCD camera. Also a 20x objective was included in the upgrade, funded via the University Infrastructure Fund.


Two new HyD detectors installed on the Leica SP5 confocal laser scanning microscope

(Sept 2012).

Two very sensitive HyD SP GaAsP-detectors have been installed on the Leica confocal. They are at position 2 and 4. Use these detectors only for weak signals, so for example NOT for DAPI. If you don’t use these detectors please make the sliders for these two detectors as narrow as possible. The new detectors are sensitive to interference of mobile phones so switch of your phone when using these detectors.
Have a look at the PDF How to start up and use the confocal microscope. This information can also be found in the microscope room.

The computer of the leica confocal has also been upgraded after recent crashes of the system. The computer runs now under Windows 7.

As a consequence of both developments user profiles have to be adapted to the new system setup. User who have problems with this please contact Kees.


Funding for 2 new detectors for Leica confocal

The AIF has been awarded funding for two HYD high sensitivity detector for the Leica TCS SP5 confocal laser scanning microscope by the University Infrastructure Fund Committee. These new detectors have an improved quantum efficiency (45% at 500 nm, up from ~20%), low noise, a large dynamic range and photon counting mode. These factors will dramatically improve the imaging results for this system; weaker signals can be imaged and faster imaging for live cell imaging. Also the option for photon counting will allow the introduction of FCS and FCCS techniques. For more information about these detectors follow the link to Leica Microsystems.

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