Confocal microscopy is an optical sectioning technique which removes out-of-focus light by using a pinhole in the emission light path. This creates an image with improved contrast and therefore ability to resolve finer detail. By acquring a series of optical sections through a specimen it is possible to create a three dimensional model of the sample.
The Imaging Facility has a number of different confocal microscopes including three point-scanning systems and one spinning disk system. Different experiments require different approaches, but genereally speaking, point-scanning confocal microscopy offers the greatest flexibility whereas spinning disk confocal micoscopy is the preferred option for live cell imaging.