The 300,000 confocal microscope has been bought by the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research, thanks to funding granted from Crerar Hotels.
The centre at the University of Edinburgh investigates the causes of Motor Neurone Disease and potential therapies and curative techniques for patients.
The microscope – which enables the scientists to see at a much higher resolution than a standard microscope – will enable research to be accelerated and hopefully lead directly to a better understanding of the disease and its causes.
The centre was set up in 2007 by Donald MacDonald and his son, Euan MacDonald, who was diagnosed with MND in 2003.
Euan MacDonald said: "This state of the art microscope is a powerful tool which will greatly help scientists and clinicians in their research into understanding the disease. It will also enable them to develop more quickly treatments to help patients.
Motor Neurone Disease is a debilitating and swift-acting disease which leads to weakness and wasting of muscle.