The ACRF Centre for Imaging the Tumour Environment

This is a state-of-the-art imaging centre established to understand how and why tumours corrupt the normal cells of the immediate micro-environment surrounding them.  The Centre houses a range of advanced imaging technologies and platforms including:


If you would like to discuss opportunities to use our platform technologies and services, please contact:

A/Prof Sarah Ellis
Microscopy Manager


Take a look inside

Inverted confocal microscopy

Our Zeiss LSM 980 with Airyscan 2 confocal microscope is one of the first in the world for the next generation of 4D confocal imaging with live 3D cell culture, spheroids, organoids or cell culture experiments.


  • High resolution Airyscan 2 imaging
  • Spectral linear un-mixing
  • FRET
  • Live-cell imaging
  • Tile Scanning
  • Z-Stack Scanning


  • 7 Laser Lines: 405, 445, 488, 514, 561 ,594, 633
  • Array of Objectives: Air (10x, 20x), Water (40x), Oil (63x)
  • Axio Observer 7 inverted motorised microscope including Definite Focus 2
  • Integrated incubation system, including large incubation chamber, temperature and CO2 control
  • Airyscan 2 module for super-resolution imaging (120nm XY, 350nm Z resolution)
  • Motorised XY stage and fast Z-piezo focus device
  • Selection of Detectors: 32 channel GaAsP array detection, 2 x MA-PMT, Airyscan 2 detector and Transmitted-PMT

Upright multiphoton and confocal microscopy

Our Zeiss LSM 980 NLO with Airyscan 2 multiphoton microscope is one of the first in the world for the next generation of discoveries for in-vitro and in-vivo models of tumour environment.


  • Deep tissue intravital microscopy
  • High resolution imaging
  • Spectral linear un-mixing
  • FRET
  • FLIM
  • Tile Scanning
  • Z-Stack Scanning 


  • 5 Visible Laser Lines: 458, 488, 514, 561, 633nm
  • Spectra-Physics Insight X3 Laser: range 700-1050nm
  • Objectives: Air (20x), Oil (63x), Multiphoton Immersion (20x)
  • Axio Examiner Z1 upright motorised microscope with very large sample space
  • LSM 980 confocal scan head with fast parallel 32x channel spectral array
  • Airyscan 2 module for super-resolution imaging (120nm XY, 350nm Z resolution)
  • Motorised XY stage via Prior Z-Deck stage
  • 6x external (NDD) detectors, including 2x external MA-PMTs and 2x GaAsP PMTs in cascade
  • Ultra-sensitive external multiphoton detection with 2x Nosepiece GaAsP detection
  • Integrated incubation system including large incubation chamber and temperature control
  • Integrated PicoQuant FLIM detection using 2x FLIM detectors

NanoString molecular barcoding scanner

NanoString provides a platform for multiplex analysis of up to 800 RNA, DNA, or protein targets. The nCounter® technology is optimised for the most difficult of samples including: FFPE, tissue, lysates and biofluid samples. Highly curated panels are available for human and mouse, covering both oncology and immunology. Only 15 minutes of hands-on preparation is required for your samples, with the ability to avoid the need to amplify cDNA, convert or prepare your libraries prior to reading your sample. Scanning is complete within approximately 24 hours of commencing your experiment.