User Support

  The Wolfson Centre is a multi-user facility maintained by shared responsibility of everybody. Aimming at supporting all users, it is our responsibility to tackle technical issues and to facilitate daily operation. It is your responsibility, as a user, to understand and follow our regulations.

  Any suggestions and comments to improve our support are highly appreciated. If we have helped your research, please acknowledge our contributions fairly in your presentation and publication.

Social Distancing Guidance of Using Microscopes
General rules
  • Users who are SARS-CoV-2 positive or have suspected SARS-CoV-2 syndrome should not use the facility within 14 days.
  • Use common sense to avoid meeting each other face to face. Keep 2m distance all the time. Do not chat in the room.
  • Strictly one user on each microscope at any time. If a colleague or supervisor wants to join the experiment, please use TeamViewer, which is available in all workstations.
  • Wear gloves throughout an imaging experiment. Gloves will be provided in each microscope room.
  • DO NOT take any gloves into/out of the lab. Use new gloves when entering a microscope room. Dispose the gloves before leaving the room.
  • Wash hands with soap after every experiment.
  • Avoid eye contact with eyepieces during focusing. Focus on the screen by using microscope camera instead. Wearing glasses is another option if you remember to clean glasses after an experiment.
  • In labs with multiple microscopes, please keep the door open during experiment to improve air ventilation.
  • DO NOT use 70% ethanol to clean any microscope and workstation.
  • Communication with facility staff should be preferably through email, and TeamViewer if necessary.
  • Troubleshooting and routine microscope service will be done when the room is empty. Booking will be blocked and a clear sign will be shown on the door.
  • To avoid meeting fellow users, microscope users must start experiment at least 5 mins after your booking time and finish the imaging in time.
  • Please book a microscope/workstation before use it. Reminder of potential risk is shown in the microscope booking page.
  • The rules are on constant review.
Adjustment to routine experiments
  • Block booking of Axio_phot, LeicaTC, LSM510invert, LSM510upright, ZeissUpright temporally
  • Switch off Workstation_London, Workstation_Madrid, Workstation_Rome temporally until a solution is found
  • Apotome and IX73, IX71_pdv and 3i Spinning Disc share the same lab. They can not be booked in the same time slot. Check the other on the booking page in advance
Adjustment to new user induction
  • Induction must be limited to one to one
  • General social distancing rules described above must be explained first in an induction
  • During the induction, both will be in the same room. The user will be in front of the microscope, the staff will keep 2m away using TeamViewer from another computer to teach.
  • Face mask and mouth cover are essential in the induction for both. The PPE will be provided by the Centre.

General Guidance to Microscope Users
  • You can only use a microscope after being trained by the Wolfson Centre (not a fellow user)
  • Microscope booking permission is given upon the completion of registration and microscope induction
  • Book the microscope before you use it
  • Some microscopes will be charged by hours of booking
  • Strictly follow the 'Switch on/off Procedures' available by each microscope
  • Follow the health and safety rules of University of Sussex
  • Tidy up after finish the experiment, clean the objective with lens tissue and remove the sample from the microscope stage
  • Sharp bin is available for unwanted slides
  • Contact us when any problems are found
Project Support
Rountine support
  • User registration and microscope/software induction
  • Microscope troubleshooting
  • Experiment and imaging technology consultation
  • Facility maintenance (housekeeping)
Advance support
  • Microscope upgrade
  • New technology development and implementation
  • Development of experimental protocols
  • Special image acquisition
  • Development of image processing and qantification protocol
  • Programming
Imaging and image processing projects
New User Registration and Induction
Image of RegistrationInduction

User Registration
  • User must register to use any microscopes, workstations and booking system
  • New User must complete New User Registration Form before registration
  • Users must have a University Account issued by ITs
  • A short meeting should be scheduled with staff to explain the demand before any induction
  • A facility account will be issued for a registered user upon the completion of registration and induction. The setup includes accessibility of booking system, microscope room and data storage
  • The account/data will be removed once a user leaves Sussex University
Microscope Induction
  • Any user using any microscope for the first time will need an induction
  • An induction is usually one (staff) to one (user), and is based on user's real sample
  • User must have a project and a clear time schedule before any induction
  • The duration of an induction varies from 0.5h to 3h, depending on user's experience, microscope and experiment
  • A brief meeting with Yan Gu is important before any induction to discuss project, labellings and microscope choice
  • Live imaging induction consists of two separate sessions. The 1st is on microscope functions using fixed samples. The 2nd is on live imaging optimization
  • Super-resolution induction consists of two separate sessions. The 1st is on microscope routine functions. The 2nd is on super-resolution optimization
  • An refresh session immediately after an induction is highly recommended to enhance the understanding
  • During a refresh session, facility staff will be around to provide support
  • Induction is free of charge, refresh session should be booked by the user and be charged at normal rate
  • Upon completion of induction, booking and accessibility to the microscope will be granted
Book a Microscope
Booking Regulations
  • You are eligible to use a microscope only if you book it
  • Book sensibly, leave some slots for others
  • Consider off peak slots if the peak time is full
  • You can delete your own booking before the session starts. Contact Yan Gu if you want to do so afterwards
  • Last user of the day must switch off the system after experiment
  • If you cancel your booking, please forward the cancelling email from QReserve to all potential users
  • Last user who cancels the booking must either inform the predecessor or come to switch off the system
Booking Software
  • Booking software: QReserve
  • Please DONOT signup by yourself, we will do it for you
  • New user signup procedures
    1. Book a microscope induction
    2. Upon completion, facility staff setup an account on QReserve
    3. QReserve sends an automatic email to the user prompting for password setup
    4. Wait overnight to update the user list
  • Permission to a new microscope for a registered user
    1. Book a microscope induction
    2. Upon completion of induction, Facility staff issues the permission
  • Email address in QReserve is that on the university address book
  • User has privilige to manage his own account/booking
  • If you need a training on how to use QReserve please email us

For grant applicants and external users

  The Full Economics Cost of using our facility is published by the university finance department annually in TRAC. All grant applicants and external users should follow the TRAC evaluation.

  • Grant Application
    • Identify the suitable microscope (contact Yan Gu)
    • Estimate the number of experiments required
    • Contact Research Office for updated TRAC number (the table below is accurate only on the noted year)
  • External User
    • Identify the suitable microscope (contact Yan Gu)
    • Estimate the number of experiments required
    • Contact Research Office for updated TRAC number (the table below is accurate only on the noted year)
    • Arrange registration with Yan Gu

   TRAC rate(updated on March 2020)

Complixity Low High
the School (except GDSC) N/A £52.78
GDSC £27.58 £51.59
Microscopes AxioPhot, Comet, E400, IX70, LeicaTC, LSM510_invert, LSM510_upright, Zeiss TC, ZeissUpright 3i Spinnig disc, Dragonfly, Expertline STED, LSM880, SP8, Scan R, Operetta CLS, Apotome, AxioVert, IX71, IX71_pdv, IX73, Bergamo

For internal users
  • Users are charged to use microscopes
  • GDSC users are precharged via research grants, other users are charged by booking time
  • The income will be used to cover service contracts, facility consumbles, system upgrade and repair. No profits is allowed
  • Internal charge requests will be sent every two months to finance department and school finance
  • Summary of user booking hours is available upon request from PIs or group heads
  • Charge details are listed in the following table

   Internal charge rate (updated on April 2020)

Complixity Low High
Peak (9am - 6pm) Offpeak (6pm - 9am) Weekend
the School (exclude GDSC) free £20/hour £20/hour (capped at 2 hours)
GDSC Precharged from research grants
Longtime live imaging Weekday: charge capped at 9 hours
Weekend: charge capped at £40/day
Microscopes AxioPhot, Comet, E400, IX70, LeicaTC, LSM510_invert, LSM510_upright, Zeiss TC, ZeissUpright 3i Spinnig disc, Dragonfly, Expertline STED, LSM880, SP8, Scan R, Operetta CLS, Apotome, AxioVert, IX71, IX71_pdv, IX73, Bergamo

Troubleshooting and Maintenance
Microscope troubleshooting
  • If you find any problems and worries, please report to facility staff immediately
  • Please don't try to tackle the problem by yourself
  • Majority of problems can be solved quickly on site
  • It is not your fault when a microscope stops working, failing to report is
Routine microscope maintenance
  • Routine microscope maintenance includes service of microscope hardware and image data
  • Hardware maintenance is conducted by prefessionals or trained facility stuff, including functional check and microscope cleaning
  • Hardware maintenance is done annually on all microscopes that don't have any Preventive Maintenance service contract
  • Image data regulation is to monitor/relocate the amount of data in the data drive of any local microscope/workstation computer in order to maintain enough space for future experiments
  • Image data regulation is carried out routinely every 6 months depending on the amount of data production
  • Please report to facility staff if data directory is full. We will remove the data ASAP
Preventive Maintenance service contracts

  Service contracts are signed annually with microscope manufacturers to insure the smooth operation. Depending on the level of support, a service contract uaually covers the cost of engineer visit, remote troubleshooting, firmware/software update and annual system maintenance. Some contracts cover parts as well. Service suppliers take the sole responsibility of the systems. We are not allowed to tackle the problem by ourselves.

  • Procedures to tackle a problem
    • Alert a facility staff
    • Initial check by a facility staff
    • Report the problem to the maintenance supplier if the issue is unsolvable
    • Remote troubleshooting by an engineer
    • Engineer site visit if a remote check failed to solve the problem
    • Engineer revisit to replace parts if reqired
  • Systems covered by a service contract
    • The coverage of service contracts are reviewed routinely
    • SP8, LSM880, 3i spinning disc, Operetta CLS and Apotome have service contracts with manufacturers
    • Heaters and CO2 mixers of IX71, IX73, Apotome, 3i spinning disc and LSM880 have service contract with Digital Pixel
    • Deconvolution package, Huygens Core and Huygens pro, have service contract with SVI(until 1/6/2021)
    • SCAN R, Dragonfly, Bergamo are in the test running period. A review afterwards will decide the best way to support them. During this period, we will cover the full cost if a problem occurs
  • Be prepared to reschedule your experiments if a problem occurs. It can take several weeks
  • We are available to discuss alternative plans such as switching to another microscope if any microscope stops working