The Automated confocal microscope (CV7000) is an automated confocal fluorescence microscope that can acquire images from live or fixed cells and tissue samples.

Confocal microscopy is an imaging technique widely used for increasing cellular spatial resolution by eliminating out of focus light through the use of pinholes placed at the confocal plane of the lens. Confocal microscopy has become an essential tool for the life sciences and is the technique of choice for high resolution microscopy.


Faster than any other automated microscope that we had previously which can take 10 times longer to image the same plate.

5 minutes

Imaging a 384 well plate previously could take a scientist several days, now this can be achieved in as little as 5 minutes.


Enables use of 3D samples – the high resolution allows evaluation of these multicellular and complex tissue systems.

A scientist's perspective


Samantha Peel Senior Research Scientist, Discovery Sciences

What is the key function of the equipment?

The use of more physiological, cellular and tissue models including primary cells, stem cells and multicellular systems in preclinical drug discovery is now common place. Such models are often 3D in nature and therefore cannot be effectively imaged by traditional widefield systems. In addition, AstraZeneca has invested heavily in phenotypic screening initiatives and precise genome editing. Having access to powerful detection microscopes that can detect subtle cellular phenotypic changes is critical to realising the full potential of such investments.

Why did AstraZeneca invest in it?

We evaluated current and future project demand and it was clear that there were many projects spanning our R&D functions that could benefit from the purchase of the CV7000. This instrument promises new capability with improved assay quality at fast acquisition rates and will enable Discovery Sciences to expand their assay portfolio to support all of the IMED Biotech Unit. The ability to image and extract data from more complex cellular models with improved physiological relevance early in drug discovery will speed up the discovery process and reduce attrition.

What benefits have been seen to date?

The microscope was installed at the latter end of 2015 and we have already started to use the system to impact projects where cellular spatial resolution is a requirement and for use with thicker tissue specimens.

Can external parties use the equipment?

We are open to collaboration and would encourage interested parties to get in touch if they are interested in getting access to our microscopes.