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The bioimaging Core Facility at Ulster University is equipped with £5 million state-of-the-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 and super resolution 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

Cryo-ultramicrotomy and preparatory techniques

  • Expert assistance with highly skilled techniques
  • Individually tailored preparation regimes
  • Comprehensive analysis of results

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 super resolution
  • 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
  • High resolution characterisation of pharmaceutical products and materials
  • Accurate imaging of sensitive structures in food, pharma and emulsions