Biomedical Sciences Research Institute

Bioimaging Core Facility

    Bioimaging Core Facility Unit

    Academic Coordinator:Dr George McKerr
    Tel: +44 (0)28 7012 4759

    The Bioimaging Core Facility at the University of Ulster is equipped with £5 million state-ofthe- art instrumentation and provides a unique opportunity for access to imaging modalities rarely found within a single laboratory. This includes all major variations of light and electron microscopy, confocal, two-photon, second harmonic generation, super resolution and probe microscopy as well as significant software solutions for deconvolution, three-dimensional reconstruction and the latest software from Explora Nova for the implementation of ‘one stop stereology’.

    The facility has Reference Laboratory status on two fronts (EM and super resolution optical microscopy) and can provide expert assistance from factory-trained staff on manufacturer maintained and optimised microscopes. All instruments are comprehensively serviced and calibrated by manufacturers’ engineers and the lab has extensive collaborative links with global industries and over two decades of productive collaborations with instrument manufacturers and software developers


    Stereo Zoom Microscopy
    - Bulk samples
    - Fluorescence tracking
    - Environmental monitoring
    - Custom imaging solutions.

    Fluorescence Microscopy
    - Measurement of DNA damage e.g., comet assay
    - Multiple antigen detection
    - Quantitative analyses (eco-toxicology, cell based experiments, engineered tissues)
    - Preparation of full and confidential reports, e.g., patent protection, new product development and prototyping.

    Laser Micro-dissection
    - Laser dissection and manipulation
    - Sub-cellular and single micro-organism collection
    - Training and collaborative projects
    - Assistance with lead up to grant applications and proof of concept.

    Cryo-Ultramicrotomy and Preparatory Techniques
    - Expert assistance with highly skilled techniques
    - Accurate imaging of sensitive structures in food, pharma and emulsions
    - Individually tailored preparation regimes
    - Comprehensive analysis of results.

    Transmission Electron Microscopy
    - Support and innovation
    - Spatial analysis by tomography and reconstruction
    - Low electron dose imaging of fragile frozen samples
    - Imaging and counting of nano-particles.

    Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy
    - Novel imaging of hydrated specimens
    - Recording of dynamic events in gels and creams
    - Full access to trained partners
    - Workshops to update all customers.

    Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) Super Resolution
    - Brand new technology in superresolution
    - Ulster’s Leica Centre for tissue engineering, offers opportunities in numerous areas of life sciences, food production, pharmacology and nanomedicine
    - Dynamic imaging of delivery systems within cells and deep tissues in x, y, z and time (hours to days)
    - Comprehensive support.

    Cryo-Focused Ion Beam/Scanning Electron Microscopy
    - Unique access to market leading nanofabrication facility
    - In-axis nano-manipulation
    - Site specific modification of deep cooled samples
    - Partnership, in product testing and defect tracing.