What is SwissBioPics?

SwissBioPics is a freely available library of interactive biological images for the visualization of subcellular location data. It covers cell types from all kingdoms of life - ranging from muscle, neuronal and epithelial cells of animals, to the rods, cocci, clubs, spirals and other more exotic forms of bacteria and archaea.

How can I use SwissBioPics?

This website lets you browse and explore the images, but the real purpose of the SwissBioPics library is to visualize subcellular location information for a given gene product. For this we provide a reusable web component and an API that allows developers to do this on their own websites. The web component uses the API to automatically select the most appropriate image for a given organism (as NCBI taxonomy identifier) and a list of subcellular locations (as Gene Ontology cellular component or UniProt subcellular location identifiers) and highlight these locations on that image. Please see our API documentation for more details. We welcome requests to expand the SwissBioPics image library and enhance programmatic access to it.

License & Disclaimer


Pictures are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License. This means that you are free to copy, distribute, display and make commercial use of the pictures in all legislations, provided you credit SwissBioPics.


We make no warranties regarding the correctness of the data, and disclaim liability for damages resulting from its use. All data is provided for research, educational and informational purposes only. It is not in intended to be used for medical purposes such as diagnosis, treatment or care.


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SwissBioPics is brought to you by the Swiss-Prot group of the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics with support from the Swiss Federal Government through the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).