Mesolens for biomedical imaging


Funded by the Medical Research Council and supported by the NC3Rs and Leverhulme Trust, the Mesolab has been established at the University of Strathclyde. The Mesolab is an imaging technology centre and its creation will allow scientists access to a next generation microscopy method based on the Mesolens.


The Mesolens, formed via a collaboration between researchers at Strathclyde and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, is a microscope lens that offers the unique combination of a large field of view with high resolution.

The novel lens design is bridging the gap between microscopy, the ability to visualise very small structures, and macrophotography, the ability to view large areas. The Mesolens presents the opportunity to produce 3D imaging in cells and tissues, whilst simultaneously displaying the whole organism, in very fine detail in a matter of seconds.

This new technology is already proving important in the analysis of human diseases and drug development. The Mesolens was originally designed to facilitate the recognition of developmental abnormalities in 12.5 day old mouse embryos.

Such embryos are routinely used to screen human genes that are suspected of involvement in disease (e.g. congenital heart and vascular disease) and in work published by the research team it was demonstrated that the Mesolens can reveal sub-cellular detail from every cell in a whole mouse embryo.

Key benefits

  • sub-cellular 3D imaging of large tissue volumes
  • wide field of view imaging of thin specimens at high resolution
  • capturing rare events & improved statistics
  • low-light imaging of weakly emitting specimens
  • no special specimen preparation & compatible with multiple immersion materials (air, water, glycerol, oil)
  • low-light imaging of weakly emitting specimens

Markets & applications

  • biomedicine – phenotypic genetic screening, structural studies in developmental biology, drug delivery & performance analysis
  • biochemistry – high-throughput screening of biomarkers
  • materials science – 3D structural analysis of semiconductor materials, minerals
  • forensic analysis – detailed image capture of biological media


An aim of the Mesolab is to develop optical mesoscopy and provide a transforming technology for biomedical research. The facility is open to receiving samples to develop the system and optimise the experimental procedures to yield the greatest biomedical benefit.

If you are interested in finding out what the Mesolab can do for your research, please contact Catherine Breslin ( in the RKES team for further information.