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Welcome to the Image Resource Facility (IRF), a core facility resource of St George’s University of London. The IRF provides support as well as a high standard of service to the university researchers, St. George’s NHS Trust and other academic institutions in a wide range of bioimaging disciplines.

First established in 1979, the IRF has developed to encompass Light Microscopy, Electron Microscopy, and sample preparation for both, all housed in a single department providing a range of imaging analysis options and the expertise to compliment them. Users of the IRF have the ability to image histology samples, cells and molecules of all varieties, and model organisms such as zebrafish using any of the light microscope, slide scanning, or electron microscope systems we maintain, supported by experienced staff at all stages of analysis.

The core services offered are Light Microscopy, Electron Microscopy, and Histology; we maintain a dedicated suite for each service.

  • The Light Microscopy Suite houses a variety of microscopes offering a solution to any imaging requirements. This range of equipment allows for fast, high resolution imaging of samples using confocal, epifluorescent, brightfield, DIC, and Phase-Contrast microscopy. Live imaging is achieved via incubation chambers attached to specific microscopes which allow for temperature and CO2 regulation.

  • Electron Microscopy capability is provided by the Hitachi H7100 Transmission Electron Microscope, fitted with a 16 megapixel camera for outstanding image resolution. The Electron Microscopy Lab allows for the processing of samples into resin blocks, ultra-thin sectioning, and post-staining.

  • Our Histology preparation laboratory allows the automated processing of tissue samples via our Leica TP1020 Automated Tissue processor - samples can be deposited and processing set to complete at a predetermined collection time that fits to your schedule. Once processing is complete, our Leica HistoCore Arcadia embedding station allows quick and clean embedding into blocks, and once these have set, they can be sectioned using our Leica RM2255 microtome.

The IRF provides hands-on training with expert scientific and technical support from our core staff for optimum image acquisition and has a leading role in the academic development of biomedical and medical students by offering workshops and training for student research projects. All new users must first register on PPMS and complete a training session with one of our core staff members to be able to utilise facility systems.

If you feel your project could benefit from a specific microscopy technique, we would be very pleased to hear about it and happy to help you with the requirements for your project. For more information, general inquiries and booking training please contact us at

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