A TIME capsule has been buried at Glasgow's £842 mill-ion "super hospital" to mark one of the most important milestones in the city's medical history.

Health minister Nicola Sturgeon buried the capsule in the foundations of the new South Glasgow Hospital, which will be among the biggest in Europe when it opens in 2015.

The hospital will represent the "gold standard" of healthcare, combining adult acute, a children's hospital and maternity services and with one of the world's larg-est research laboratories.

The capsule was buried next to the £75m lab, which is scheduled to open next year and will serve the whole of the south of Glasgow.

Covering an area of approximately 25,000 square metres over five storeys, it will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to deliver diagnostic services for biochemistry, haema-tology, microbiology, genetics and histology.

Senior researchers at the University of Glasgow say having access to so many different specialisms on one site, as well as acute, children's and maternity hospitals could lead to major innovations in heart disease and cancer research.

A 24-hour automated system will deliver test results direct from the laboratory to hospital staff and GP surgeries.

The time capsule contains items celebrating the achievements of medical science in Glasgow and its aspirations for the future.

They include images of pupils learning about genetics and microbiology, construction images of the new laboratory, a patient's story, various pieces of science equipment and leaflets and posters.

Ms Sturgeon was joined by NHS staff, and pupils and teachers from local schools, who contributed to the items in the capsule.

She said: "The time capsule project is a terrific way to get children and the local community involved to celebrate the important role which healthcare scientists play in our NHS.

"This new facility will bring together a whole range of laboratory services under one roof and provide NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde with a modern purpose-built facility which will play a key role in supporting the New South Glasgow Hospitals Campus site."

Robert Calderwood, chief executive of NHSGGC, said: "The items that are being buried reflect where we are today in terms of modern laboratory medicine and even indicate what laboratories of the future might look like.

"The opening of this new laboratory next year signifies the way forward for laboratory medicine and we have been delighted to work with the local community to bring together items that celebrate the achievements of health sciences."