Bio-Imaging Unit

Leica SP8



The Leica TCS SP2 UV AOBS is a point scanning confocal microscope, based around a DM RXA upright stand.

The system has three photomultipliers for fluorescence imaging with an additional one for transmitted light, which includes DIC.

It is also versatile allowing users a wide choice of fluorochrome dyes to choose from for use in their labelling, which includes the most commonly used:

  • DAPI
  • FITC
  • CY5

Additional transmitted and reflected light modes are available.

A unique feature of the system is the ability to spectrally scan a specimen’s emission wavelength at a given laser excitation line, and thus determine whether the signal originates from the fluorochrome used or from background autofluorescence.

The water dipping lenses can be used to image larger unmounted specimens (fixed or unfixed) in small Petri dishes or six well plates, and is an ideally suited to multiphoton based imaging.

The software offers FRAP and FRET with built in ‘Wizards’ to help new users, and in addition has basic quantification and colocalisation modules. 3D projections (stereo anaglyphs) and movies can also be saved.


Here you can find the specifications for this microscope.


  • HCPL FLUOTAR 10x/0.30, working distance (WD) 11.0 mm
  • HC FLUOTAR L 25x/0.95 W VISIR WD 2.5 mm
  • HC PL APO 63x/1.20 W WD 0.3 mm
  • HC PL APO 40x/1.30 Oil CS2. WD 0.24 mm
  • 100x/1.40 OIL STED White objective

Imaging modes

  • volume x,y,z (3D)
  • time lapse x,y,z,t (4D)
  • gated STED 3D

Laser lines

405 nm laser (50 mW, continuous wave).

White light laser (WLL) emits wavelengths between 470 and 670 nm. Of those, up to 8 can be selected simultaneously. Each selected wavelength has about 1.5 mW power which can be attenuated with the AOTF. The WLL is a pulsed laser (80 MHz), allowing time gating of fluorescence life times in combination with HyD detectors.

Filer sets

  • DAPI
  • FITC


This microscope is located in the Central Unit, on campus.

The Central Unit is based in the Bioimaging Unit in the William Leech Building. Room M2.147a.

Newcastle University
William Leech Building
Medical School
Framlington Place 
Newcastle upon Tyne

Here, you can get directions to the building.

Enter your postcode or address to find directions


Find out how to book this microscope.

The minimal booking time for this equipment is 30 minutes. Time increments of 15 minutes are permitted.

Bookings can be cancelled with no charge up to an hour before scheduled use.

Before booking this equipment, please ensure the following:

  • any users are fully trained, and approved by a member of BioImaging facility staff
  • microscopes are left in a good state of tidiness (lenses/stage should be cleaned of any oil)
  • filters and lenses must not be removed or switched between systems without authorisation from Bioimaging facility staff

If you work at Newcastle University, you can book this microscope online by using iLab.

If you're a commercial company or an academic at another institution, just contact us to discuss your requirements.