Our new website: www.lightmicroscopy.cruk.cam.ac.uk
The aims of the Light Microscopy Facility at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI) are:
• to provide state‐of-the‐art microscopes for cancer research,
• to provide training and advice to allow researchers to use the imaging systems,
• to provide scientific input into sample preparation & experiment design,
• to provide and develop advanced imaging methods
• to collaborate on scientific projects with advanced imaging expertise.
Imaging is a very diverse field and instruments range from basic CCD camera microscopes to highly complex specialized systems. Often, some knowledge of engineering and physics is needed for successful imaging, even when a commercially available instrument is used. Also, the imaging has to be done with knowledge of the fundamental scientific question behind the experiment in each research project. In consequence, every project has an element of collaboration and some are entirely collaborations rather than just the provision of a service.
The main imaging systems in the facility are confocal laser scanning microscopes and widefield imaging systems. We also support the high‐throughput slide cytometer, iCys, which combines high quality imaging of adherent cells with highly versatile quantitative analysis. And in the last year we have established high-resolution live animal imaging at CRI.
The facility is specialized in the following areas of expertise:
• advanced live‐cell imaging using widefield and spinning disc imaging systems,
• high‐quality confocal scanning light microscopy,
• non-linear imaging techniques such as multi-‐photon, second harmonic
• fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM),
• live‐animal imaging at high resolution,
• quantitative high-throughput image acquisition and analysis (e.g. iCys)
We are also constantly monitoring new developments in imaging techniques, and are actively engaged in developing new applications for cancer research with new instrumentation design. This research into new imaging applications (e.g. Stimulated Emission Depletion microscopy, STED) is initiated by the facility staff and then performed in collaboration with CRI researchers.
Our further scientific aim is to obtain cancer-relevant comparative imaging results in collaboration with colleagues within CRI, with newly developed imaging modalities, such as FLIM, non-‐linear imaging and Raman microscopy.
At the CRUK CI, we use an automated high-content microscope to image thousands of cells and then determine the percentage of mitotic cells with the associated commercial software.