Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory Facilities


GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Imaging Center - Room 3412

This laboratory is dedicated to the development of novel OCT technology and applications, consisting of state-of-the-art OCT systems that are used for a wide variety of experiments. This laboratory also serves as a breeding ground for evaluating new sources, experimental set-ups, new needle, catheter, and probe beam-delivery systems, and novel imaging modalities and algorithms used in conjunction with OCT. This laboratory features the following custom-built OCT systems:

  • OCT system utilizing a broadband titanium : sapphire laser source, operating at 800 nm wavelength. This system is capable of time-domain OCT, spectral domain OCT, and magneto-motive OCT (MM-OCT) imaging.
  • Polarization-sensitive OCT system (PS-OCT) operating at 1300 nm wavelength.

Nonlinear Microscopy Laboratory - Room 3510

This laboratory facility exploits the advantages of nonlinear optical techniques for imaging cells and tissue. Various lasers are used to generate ultrashort optical pulses, which are shaped to enhance imaging of specific molecular features. Located in this laboratory are the following custom-built systems:

  • Nonlinear Interferometric Vibrational Imaging (NIVI) system.
  • Integrated Microscope, providing structural and functional imaging using Optical Coherence Microscopy (OCM) and Multi-Photon Microscopy (MPM) techniques.

Biological Sample Preparation Laboratory - Room 3636

This Biosafety Level 2 (BL2) laboratory facility allows us to conduct studies on human and model specimens from our approved protocols as well as conduct collaborative work with institutions such as Carle Foundation Hospital, Provena Medical Center, the NIH Tissue Banks, and the UIUC School of Veterinary Medicine. This wet-chemical laboratory is also used for fabricating novel targeted contrast and therapeutic agents for imaging. Attached to this laboratory space is a separate, isolated BL2 room used exclusively for cell culture work. This laboratory space is managed by a full-time Biological Research Manager that oversees all biological aspects of the group research and space utilization. This laboratory features the following equipment:

  • Isolated cell culture room, biosafety cabinet, 2 incubators, water bath, centrifuge.
  • Zeiss inverted, fluorescent microscope.
  • Cryo micro-centrifuge.
  • One balance and one ultra-balance.
  • Complete microsphere fabrication setup.
  • Micro-spectrometer.
  • Manual and electronic pipettes.

Histology Laboratory - Room 1736

No OCT imaging would be complete without comparing the imaging results to the "gold standard", which is histology. This laboratory facility is equipped with state of the art equipment for fixing and preparing our own tissue samples for histology, thus allowing us to perform direct comparison studies using histology as the gold standard of diagnostic medicine to confirm the features observed through our imaging modalities. This BL2 laboratory features the following equipment:

  • Cryostat.
  • Microtome.
  • Tissue processor.
  • Paraffin embedder.
  • Chemical fume hood.
  • Biosafety cabinet.
  • Light microscopes.
  • Automatic microscope slide stainer.

Primary Care Imaging Laboratory - Room 3520a

Our group is designing cutting edge optical techniques and systems with the ultimate goal of integrating them into existing medical procedures and tests. This room was designed with a patient care suite in mind. It has equipment that a typical physicians office would have, as well as our portable advanced imaging systems.

Portable Optical Imaging Laboratory - Room 3520b

This is where our advanced systems are developed and tested, as well as miniaturized into a cart. Several optics tables are housed here as well as a staging area for our portable systems.


BIL Bioresources Laboratory - Room 3524a

Apart from developing cutting edge optical systems and techniques, our group is also interested in understanding the underlying processes that govern complex biological systems. In particular, Cuttlefish are being investigated to determine how the skin texturization and colorization function at the most basic level.

OpNTech Laboratory - Room 3524b

Various experiments to investigate the relationship between biological and optical processes are being investigated. By using a broad range of optical techniques to modify the light being used to excite light sensitive proteins, new properties and behavior of these systems can be determined.


Clinical Research Laboratory

This laboratory facility is located on the 3rd floor of the Mills Breast Cancer Research Center on the campus of Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois, approximately a half mile from the Beckman Institute. This dedicated research space serves as a staging and development laboratory for ongoing interoperative and clinical optical imaging studies.

Machine Shop

No engineering laboratory would be complete without its own machine shop. Within our facilities, we also have our own small location allowing us to custom make several of our parts for instrumentation purposes.

BIL Darkroom Imaging Systems - Beckman 3628

This shared room stores our Darkboxes:

To gain access to equipment, see here.

  • Maestro In Vivo Fluorescent Imaging System
  • Stanford Photonics ONYX/M Luminescence Dark Box

Computational Optical Imaging Laboratory - Room 1734


Neurophotonics Laboratory - Room 1712a


Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology Facilities

Beckman Institute Biological Resource Facility

One of six facilities located on the UIUC campus is housed inside the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. This facility is able to accommodate a wide variety of species allowing researchers in this highly interdisciplinary institute to carry out more clinically relevant studies.

Beckman Institute Visualization Laboratory

The Visualization Laboratory resources support a wide variety of projects for research, including: 2D/3D/4D image analysis and quantification, scientific visualization, ultra-high speed video, macro-photograpy, macro-video, video production, 3D animation, high-resolution 2D scanning, 3D object scanning, full-color 3D printing, research presentation methods, publication graphics, and additional capabilities in support of imaging.

Microscopy Suite

The Microscopy Suite (MS) is one of the two primary service facilities supported by the Imaging Technology Group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. A wide range of imaging modalities and supporting equipment is available for the preparation, imaging and analysis of microscopic specimens. Instruments in the facility include dissecting, stereology, fluorescence, confocal, transmission electron, environmental scanning electron, atomic force and near field scanning optical microscopes.

Illinois Simulator Laboratory

The primary mission of the Illinois Simulator Laboratory (ISL) is to support the integration of advanced technologies so that Institute researchers can conduct experiments in human multi-modal perception and cognition. To facilitate this mission, the ISL maintains discrete laboratories allowing the incorporation of individualized multimodal control and monitoring technologies into advanced visualization environments, both immersive and ultra-high resolution.

Biomedical Imaging Center

The BIC provides the facilities, equipment, and training for research in NMR imaging and spectroscopy spanning across the fields of engineering, neuroscience, speech and hearing science, psychology, biology, medicine, and other fields.


University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Facilities

Biotechnology Center

The UIUC Biotechnology Center houses many facilities critical to the biosciences including the W.M. Keck Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics, Proteins Sciences Facility, Immunological Resource Center, and Flow Cytometry Facility.

Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST)

The Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology is an interdisciplinary center combining faculty from across many departments in the spirit of the development of nanoscale materials, devices, systems, and applications.

Institute for Genomic Biology

The Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was established in 2003 to advance life science research and stimulate bio-economic development in the state of Illinois.

Construction of the $75 million, 186,000 square foot state-of-the-art IGB facility began in April 2004. Completed in mid-2006, the facility now houses up to 400 researchers in three broad Program Areas:

  • Systems Biology
  • Cellular and Metabolic Engineering
  • Genome Technology

Materials Research Laboratory (MRL)

The Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory is one of the many interdisciplinary research laboratories on campus. It houses the DOE's National Electron Beam User's Center (the Center for Microanalysis of Materials), Center for Computation, Molecular Beam Epitaxy Facility, Laser and Spectroscopy Facility, Microfabrication and Crystal Growth Facility, and the Magnetic Characterization and Low-Temperature Facility (SQUID).