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microscopyThe Sainsbury Laboratory hosts a state-of-the-art advanced imaging facility for scientists working on several aspects of plant developmental biology, including live imaging of developing plant tissues, and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy. The facility currently has four major instruments, two stereo-fluorescence microscopes and several dissecting microscopes.

JPK Instruments NanoWizard 3 Bioscience Atomic Force Microscope

The NanoWizard 3 (BioScience) is a top of the line atomic force microscope specifically designed for biological applications. This machine is intended for use in liquid, both for imaging and testing mechanical properties of biological elements. The system is capable of fine piezo-electric controlled movements over 100 um^2. Additionally, it may be used in conjunction with either upright or inverted fluorescence microscopy.

Zeiss LSM 780

Zeiss’s new point scanning laser microscope comes with a 34-Ch GaAsP detector which has higher quantum efficiency and photon counting ability than previous detectors; this provides excellent dynamics, especially to visualize weak signals. It uses active cooling for the best signal-to-noise ratio. There are also two photomultiplier tubes for additional channels. The microscope is equipped with a wide range of lasers and objectives.

The Zeiss LSM 780 is in addition fitted with an Andors MicroPoint dye-coupled laser that makes possible laser illumination and cellular ablation. The MicroPoint device allows simultaneous viewing of the laser ablation in widefield or fluorescence imaging through an EMCCD camera.

Zeiss LSM 710

The LSM 710 is a point scanning microscope with excellent sensitivity combined with a good noise suppression system. The microscope is fitted with lasers allowing imaging of CFP, GFP and RFP fluorophores.

Both the Zeiss microscopes run on Zen2010 imaging software.


The Zeiss VivaTome microscope combines the speed of a spinning disc with the light efficiency of a structured illumination microscope. This allows rapid imaging of up to 30 images per second of living cells. VivaTome also allows simultaneous visualization of both widefield and sectioned images. The system runs on an AxioVision user interface.

Zeiss EVO HD

The Zeiss EVO HD environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) allows acquisition of electron micrographs of wet and uncoated samples at low-kV. This enables imaging of uncoated live tissues and provides highly detailed surface information for beam-sensitive samples.