The power of microscopes

Microscopes are essential equipment for life scientists and increasingly modern microscopes allow exploration of the way cells and organisms work. They are vital for applications ranging from the discovery of novel disease therapies to the enhancement of crop production.

Our progress so far

Oxford Brookes researchers are at the forefront of biological science research.  Our state-of-the-art bio-imaging unit includes a 3D scanning electron microscope which enables the team to take extremely high resolution 3D images of cell structure.  

Being able to see microscopic structure is a fundamental aspect of understanding biology, without it our understanding of cells and tissues would be far behind what we know today. Using 3D electron microscopy techniques we can image and model miniature structures. We can convert these models into data that 3D printers can use and generate sculptures of these structures which are several million times their normal size. 

Dr Louise Hughes, BioImaging Unit Researcher and Microscopist, Oxford Brookes

The bio-imaging suite is vital to many types of research taking place at Brookes.  These include investigations into the workings of cells and organisms to help in the discovery of disease therapies such as sleeping sickness, radiation damage to cells and how insects might be used as carriers for drug delivery. 

Our ambitions

Brookes students have the opportunity to gain an unusually high level of expertise in modern microscopy. We believe that by providing our students with training in key microscopy techniques and instrumentation, they can utilise this experience in their future careers as scientists.

Our two confocal laser scanning fluorescence microscopes in the bio-imaging suite are used daily by postgraduate and undergraduate students in their training and research in, for example, the study of plant cell structures and the exploration of plant productivity or in understanding the behaviour of cancer cells.

One of these microscopes is coming to the end of its useful life and we are seeking funding to purchase a Zeiss LSM 8000 laser scanning microscope to replace it.  Would you help us reach this goal?


How you can help

We need to raise £180,000 to purchase this new microscope to ensure we continue to provide our student scientists with the equipment they need for their training and research.

If you are motivated to help us reach this total, donations of all sizes will help to make this a reality.   By supporting our Technology Fund, your gift will ensure our students have the opportunity to use some of the very best bio-imaging equipment available to gain essential experience in this field and go on to make discoveries of their own.



Case study

"Microscopy lies at the heart of much of the biological and biomedical sciences. Training with such advanced instrumentation will help equip our graduates with the necessary skill sets for their future careers in the biosciences."

Professor Chris Hawes, Professor of Plant Cell Biology, Oxford Brookes