Access our research facilities

We operate a number of integrated research platforms bringing together specialist equipment and staff, that are available for companies to access.

Research facilities 

Bio-imaging and Flow Cytometry

Our Bio-imaging and Flow Cytometry facility supports the investigation of a variety of biological questions. We have a range of state of the-art-equipment including:

  • Confocal microscopes
  • Fluorescent microscopes
  • Light-sheet microscopes
  • Automated slide-scanner for high-throughput imaging of fluorescent and histology samples
  • Super-resolution imaging systems including Airyscan and STED
  • Flow cytometry analysis and cell sorting. 

Our specialist staff are able to advise on all areas of projects from experimental design to data acquisition and analysis. 

Access our bio-imaging and flow cytometry facility or email: Bioimaging-facs@leeds.ac.uk 

Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry (MS)

The Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry Facility in the Faculty of Biological Sciences forms part of the the Astbury Biostructure Laboratory (ABSL). 

It specialises in structural mass spectrometry of biomolecules and their macromolecular complexes. Our advanced platforms include Hydrogen-deuterium exchange-mass spectrometry (HX-MS) for studying changes in conformation and dynamics of proteins and their complexes; and a state-of-the-art Orbitrap Eclipse Tribrid mass spectrometer with ultraviolet photodissociation (UVPD) and electron transfer dissociation (ETD) fragmentation technologies. 

These fragmentation technologies enable a plethora of capabilities including top- and middle-down ‘deep sequencing’ of proteins and their PTMs as well as comprehensive bottom-up proteomics profiling for relative quantitation, chemical cross linking and other MS footprinting approaches.

Our expert staff are available to discuss any of your requirements for these and our other platforms, such as native MS and metabolomics. 

Access Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry facilities or email: mass-spec@leeds.ac.uk

Cohen Geochemistry Laboratory

Our Cohen Geochemistry laboratory suite has been designed and built for geochemical research in all areas of environmental geosciences. The facility operates as a collaborative and flexible space with specialist equipment available for: sample processing and extractions; radiochemical and microbiological experimentation; and for chemical and stable isotope analysis. We offer logistical support, assistance with analysis, and method development research.

Access our geochemistry laboratory.

Cryo-electron microscopy

The Astbury Biostructure Laboratory (ABSL) is the electron microscopy facility within the Faculty of Biological Sciences. We operate state-of-the-art equipment for transmission electron microscopy, including two ThermoFisher Scientific Titan Krios electron microscopes equipped with the latest direct electron detector technology (Falcon4/Selectris). 

The facility offers an end-to-end service from project work up and sample preparation, to Cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) imaging and data processing for structure determination. We are also experienced working with non-biological specimens. 

The facility specialises in structural biology, particularly generating high-resolution structural information for macromolecular complexes. Typical specimens for this analysis include nucleo-protein complexes, membrane proteins, ligand bound proteins for drug discovery and viruses, with analysis often resulting in sub 3 Å density maps. 

Our expert staff are highly experienced working with a range of specimens and project types and would love to discuss your imaging needs. Please email cryoEM@leeds.ac.uk to find out more. 

Dental Translational and Clinical Research Unit (DenTCRU)

DenTCRU is a designated dental clinical and translational research facility supporting academic and commercial studies. It offers a range of expertise across clinical trial methodology, basic science, applied clinical research, population health, and patient public involvement and engagement.  

The facility includes:

  • A self-contained research-only clinic that is staffed by highly trained designated research staff.
  • Six high specification dental chairs including operating microscopes and intra-oral cameras for digital and still photography recording.
  • An independent reception and patient waiting rooms.
  • A dedicated laboratory for sample preparation with monitored fridge and -80 freezer sample storage. 
  • A confidential interview room.
  • A CCTV-controlled entrance allowing secure out-of-hours access for patients and research staff.
  • Controlled lighting (for colour matching and tooth whitening studies).
  • Immediate access to NHS services.

The Dental Translational and Clinical Research facility is co-located within the Leeds Dental Institute part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, and is a hub of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leeds Clinical Research Facility.

Access our Dental Translational and Clinical Research facility.

Future Fashion Factory

Future Fashion Factory is a £5.4m research and development partnership exploring and developing new digital and advanced textile technologies to boost the design of high-value creative products.

The partnership is industry-led and focuses resources on fixing real problems in ways that can be practically implemented within a foreseeable timeframe to maximise commercial impact.

Joining the community gives members access to facilities and expertise that aim to keep the industry sustainable and high-growth, drawing on multidisciplinary teams.

Membership is free and it’s easy to join as an organisation or as an individual.

Future Fashion Factory is part of the Creative Industries Cluster Programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

Access the Future Fashion Factory facilities and research and development opportunities or contact contact@futurefashionfactory.org
 

Inductively Coupled Plasma Analysis

Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and Optical Emission Spectrometry are techniques used to determine the concentration of elements in liquid samples. Our equipment is capable of analysing a wide range of samples and is available for consultancy work. You could use this facility to:

  • monitor water quality
  • analyse contaminated land
  • analyse biological samples

Access our plasma analysis equipment.

Institute of Process Research and Development

The Institute for Process Research and Development (iPRD) is a collaborative venture bringing together chemists and chemical process engineers with industry to improve manufacturing processes of fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and new materials. We have a 650m2 process development laboratory, facilities within this include:

  • Custom-built flow chemistry equipment for continuous processing.
  • Process analytics technologies (PAT) (turbidity, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), pH, Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis), High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry) for inline and online monitoring of reactions.
  • PAT-instrumented 20 and 50 litre batch reactors for process development and scale-up.
  • Process development separation and isolation equipment.

Working with our facilities and academic expertise, we offer professional services that include:

  • Design of novel syntheses and processes. 
  • Process optimisation to reduce costs and energy use and increase product quality.
  • Process understanding and scale-up.
  • Training and teaching including the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) approved training.
  • Consultancy.

Access our Institute for Process Research and Development.

Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Centre

The Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy centre specialises in the microscopic and spectroscopic characterisation of solid materials. The centre works across academic disciplines, delivering advanced materials characterisation techniques. These help relate a material’s physical properties (such as its mechanical or electronic behaviour) to its chemistry and structure at the micron to angstrom scale. Our team of qualified and trained experts take time to understand your business needs and advise on the appropriate techniques.

Access our Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy Centre.

Leeds Nanotechnology Cleanroom

The cleanroom is a fabrication centre, supporting research activities across the physical, biological and medical sciences. The main laboratory comprises 200m2 of ISO 5 (class 100) cleanroom and has an extensive microwave and high-frequency electronics infrastructure. In addition, we have a further 30m2 of ISO 3 cleanroom containing our £4.5 million electron beam lithography system. Using these tools, it is possible to fabricate structures to a resolution below 10nm. We are involved in projects looking at nano-spintronic devices, nanomagnetism, magnetic nanowires, high frequency nanoelectronics, single-molecule electronics and hybrid bio-electronic materials. The cleanroom is supported by a dedicated technician and a suite of ‘back end’ laboratories for post-processing activities including wafer sawing, scribing and electrical characterisation.

Access our Nanotechnology Cleanroom.

National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems

Our £4.3 million National Facility for Innovative Robotic Systems is backed by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and is designed to drive Britain's international competitiveness in robotics. The facility builds upon the University's achievement using robotics in surgical applications, prosthetics and exploration. Working with over 100 researchers from multiple disciplines, our work covers four main areas:

  • Field robotics – overcoming real-world challenges such as search and rescue following natural disaster.
  • Medical robotics – improving surgery, rehabilitation and independent living.
  • Artificial Intelligence for robotics – helping robots learn from experience.
  • Underpinning science and technology – including sensing technologies, robot manufacturing and communications and networks.

In addition, we house some of the latest 3D printing and high-precision assembly technologies including:

  • a multi-material 3D printer a Laser MicroJet cutter
  • a 3D visualisation studio to inspect robotics models in fine detail

We can provide industry with a suite of technologies for robot design and construction.

Access our National Robotics Facility.

National Pig Centre

The University of Leeds farm is one of 12 leading academic institutions that form part of the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).

Leeds is the lead organisation for pig research within CIEL. This is one of four Agri-Tech Centres, created in a collaboration between government, academia and industry to drive greater efficiency, resilience and wealth across the agri-food sector.

The aim of CIEL is to identify key challenges to the UK’s farmed animal industries and to provide world-leading, applied solutions.

Access the National Pig Centre

Next Generation Sequencing Facility

Our Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) facility is a partnership between the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospitals. It offers a flexible service for promoting the rapid development and provision of new methodologies through the sequencing of DNA and Ribonucleic acid (RNA) samples.

The NGS comprises of a core facility of Illumina platforms including MiSeq, HiSeq 3000 and NextSeq 500, alongside a PacBio Sequel and Oxford NanoPore MinION for long read sequencing. An experienced team of researchers support the NGS facility and offer assistance in library preparation and best practice.

Smart Farm

At the University of Leeds Research Farm, we work with academic and industry partners from across the UK to co-develop high-quality research programmes that address modern agricultural challenges.

Academics from the University are working with industry partners to provide innovative, multi-discipline, systems-based solutions to help navigate these complex future challenges for the sustainable development of global food production. 

To collaborate with us or use the University of Leeds Research farm in a project or field trial email Farm@leeds.ac.uk.

Visit our smart farm page for more information about the current research happening at the farm site.

Topographical surveying equipment

Topographical surveys map the three-dimensional position of landforms and manmade objects. We have specialist topographical equipment including Leica Viva differential global positioning systems (using GS14 antennae and a REIGL VZ-1000 Terrestrial Laser Scanner). The Terrestrial Laser Scanner provides high-speed, non-contact data for ranges of up to 1400 meters. It uses an infrared laser beam and a fast scanning mechanism.

It can be used in:

  • topography
  • mining
  • architecture
  • archaeology
  • monitoring
  • civil engineering
  • city modelling

Access our surveying equipment.

Virtuocity

Virtuocity is a unique programme for city simulation and co-design. It provides an immersive simulation and visualisation facility powered by academic models and industry software, and is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of academics with decades of expertise between them.

Our facilities and expertise include pedestrian, driving, train and truck simulation, as well as vehicle emission technology.

X-ray Diffraction and X-ray Fluorescence

X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) are techniques that provide detailed information about the structure, composition and physical properties of materials. We have a range of XRD facilities including a preparation laboratory and an instrument laboratory. Anything that has a crystal structure can be examined - from food to ceramics and geological materials.

Examples of how you could use this facility include:

  • the analysis of sediment in effluent pipes
  • examining geological samples for building projects
  • checking the components of materials for quality control purposes

Access our X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence equipment.

More research facilities 

To access a broader range of our research facilities, please visit some of our faculty sites:

In addition, the N8 Shared Equipment Inventory System holds details of all the equipment and facilities across the N8 Research Partnership.