20 Jul 2020



The OCTOPUS (Optics Clustered to OutPut Unique Solutions) offers a range of imaging techniques.




Welcome to the home of the OCTOPUS imaging cluster, one of its kind user facility. 

This is an advanced imaging facility providing a mixture of in house-built and commercial systems operating in partnership with its sister facility ULTRA. The variety of multicolour light sources in OCTOPUS gives the flexibility to combine multiple beams, multiple colours and timing capabilities.​

OCTOPUS offers a range of imaging techniques including several modes of multidimensional single molecule microscopy (particle kinetics and dynamics in live cells via single particle tracking colocalisation, single particle FRET and single particle polarisation, and structure determination in fixed cells - at 5-20 nm resolution via fluorescence localisation with photobleaching (FLimP)), super-resolution microscopy (STORM, PALM, SIM, STED), and confocal microscopy (FLIM, FRET, and multiphoton). Optical Tweezers is another technique that OCTOPUS provides.

The modular nature of OCTOPUS allows the development and exploitation of new advanced imaging techniques as they become available, to address grand challenges in the life sciences area.

OCTOPUS is a user facility, so if you have a scientific case and require our unique laser micrscopes and expertise, you may be granted an access. Our friendly staff will be happy to give advice on applications and provide support in planning experiments, conducting the experiments and analysis of the results. Biological laboratory facilities and expertise in sample preparation are an integral part of the OCTOPUS ​activity. Access to our sister facility ULTRA can also be arranged. 

To find out more about user access and how to apply click here.

Contact: Szynkiewicz, Marta (STFC,RAL,CLF)