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Microscopy – Bio-Imaging BIOS08

7,5 credits

Student in a lab looking into a microscope. Photo.

Course description

There has been a dramatic development of microscopical methods for visualization of biological structures and physiological events. Microscopy has become an increasingly important tool in cell and molecular biology, as well as in many other areas of biology. This course gives an introduction to the use of microscopy-based methods in life science today. It is given for both Master’s students (BIOS08) and PhD students (NABIO13).

The course includes an introduction to microscopy, with emphasis on fluorescence microscopy, and theoretical principles of confocal microscopy and image deconvolution. We give an overview of different types of advanced research microscopes and the principles of the most common advanced methods. There is also an introduction to electron microscopy and some “imaging methods” that are not based on optical microscopes. Another important aspect is the preparation and optimisation of samples for microscopy, both fixed samples and tissue sections, as well as living samples. The different types of molecular markers and staining methods are discussed, allowing microscopic visualisation of cellular structures and physiological functions. The course also includes a theoretical introduction to digital visualisation, with emphasis on fluorescence-based methods, including a brief introduction to ImageJ and basic analysis of digital images.

In addition to lectures, seminars, and demonstrations, the course includes two projects. A literature project is dedicated to the principles and utility of some of the most important advanced microscopy methods. In this project, you apply the fundamental theoretical knowledge that is acquired in the beginning of the course. Finally, the course ends with practical bioimaging project. Here, you get the chance to practically apply what you have learned about sample preparation, microscopy methods, image acquisition, documentation and analysis of image data – including written and oral presentation of the completed project.

Spring period 2b

Full-time, on campus, in English


Find information about application, prerequisites and the course syllabus at Lund University's web pages.

Course literature 2024

Optical Imaging Techniques in Cell Biology, 2 edition, Cox, G. (2012), CRC Press. (NOTE! The book will be freely available as an e-book through the Biology library. You do not have to buy it!)


The latest schedule for the course Microscopy - Bio-Imaging in the schedule software TimeEdit.


You find the latest evaluation on our web page with course evaluations.


Therese Reber, study advisor, molecular biology

Telephone: +46 46 222 73 16
Email: molbiol_master [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se