Centre Optical Instrumentation Facility (COIL)

COIL is a Wellcome Trust funded imaging facility primarily serving the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology within the University of Edinburgh. The facility is well equipped with laser scanning/spinning disk confocals, Deltavision deconvolution microscopes, standard fluorescence microscopes and an experimental multi focus microscope. The facility is staffed by a full time manager providing expert training, advice for the microscopes and custom scripts/plugins for image analysis.


Imaging Platforms

Keywords - Light Microscopy: Confocal microscopy | Widefield microscopy | Live cell imaging | Multi-photon microscopy | TCSPC-FLIM | FCS/FCCS

Coil contains a Leica SP5 confocal equipped with MP, FLIM, FCS. The Leica has laser lines for 405,488,514,561,594 and 633nm, 2 HyD detectors and internal/external FLIM detectors and a motorised stage. Three Deltavision deconvolution microscopes with FRAP/Photoactivation modules and the Cellasics microfluidics system. There is a spinning disk confocal equipped with a FRAP system (488nm only), EMCCD camera, optisplit for simultaneous 3 colour imaging and laser lines at 488,514,561 and 633nm. There is a Zeiss AxioImager with motorised stage and EMCCD camera. All inverted scopes have environmental chambers for temperature and CO2 control. There is also a Nikon TE2000 inverted and Zeiss upright microscope available for routine imaging and an Eppendorf Injectman microinjection rig.

A new experimental multifocus microscope has been installed based on the paper by Abrahamsson et al (Nature Methods 2013) with laser lines for 488 and 561nm and either a cMOS or EMCCD camera.


Keywords – Biological: Cell Biology | Neurobiology | Developmental Biology | Immunobiology | Plant Biology | Zebrafish | Drosophila

COIL is mostly focussed on cell biology but there is a user base and expertise covering all of the listed research areas.

Data Analysis

Keywords - Software: ImageJ | Matlab | AutoQuant | ImagePro | Metamorph | SoftWorx

Coil has a dedicated image analysis facility within it covering many of the popular analysis and deconvolution packages. There is expert advice available on all aspects of image analysis with custom script writing for Image Pro Premier or plugin development for ImageJ.

Deconvolution is performed using either Softworx for Deltavision images or Autoquant for all other images. All data produced within the facility is backed up to an off site server for data security.


The facility is entirely funded by the Wellcome Trust.

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