Equipment

1. FEI Tecnai Twin 120kV Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) equipped with:
 
  • Gatan Ultrascan 1000 2K CCD camera with ultra sensitive phosphor scintillator
  • 70° Tilt Cryo-transfer Holder Tomography enables frozen suspensions or sections to be loaded into the TEM holder and transferred frost-free at temperatures below -170 °C
  • Software and hardware needed for acquiring and aligning tomography data for subsequent tomographic reconstruction of tilt series images.
 
One of three specialized microscopes in the core, this instrument is used to examine specimens prepared by negative staining, conventional embedding, and cryo-specimens.  The tilting stage provides a means for collecting tomographic images.
 
 
FEI Tecnai 12 Twin Transmission electron microscope (TEM) allows direct visualization of the molecular complexes within cells and the structure of individual macromolecules.
 
 
Gatan sample holder and pumping station are used to introduce frozen specimens into the TEM.
 
2. FEI Quanta 200 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is a versatile, high-performance scanning electron microscope with three operation modes (high vacuum, low vacuum and ESEM) equipped with a motorized stage and providing secondary and backscatter electron detection.
 
 
Core user is operating this easy to use SEM to define the surface structure of cells differentiated in culture.  This is only one application for which the SEM is well suited.
 
3. Bruker Multimode 8 Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM).  This microscope, often described as an atomic force microscope, provides a means for imaging the surfaces of specimens using a physical probe.  The Multimode 8 performs all major SPM imaging techniques.  These include contact and non-contact atomic force, lateral force, Tapping Mode (air), magnetic force, electric force microscopy and ScanAsyst (Peak Force Tapping) techniques.  A cantilever holder is also available for scanning in fluid in Tapping and force modulation modes.
 
 
4. FEI Vitrobot Mark IV is a fully automated vitrification device for plunge-freezing of aqueous (colloidal) suspensions.
 
 
This instrument provides a powerful means for determining the 3D structure of macromolecules and macromolecular complexes at sub-nanometer resolution.  Single-particle analysis or EM reconstruction often partners nicely with X-ray crystallography and NMR spectrometry to provide a more complete understanding of molecular structures.
 
5.  Leica EM PACT2 High Pressure Freezer with Rapid Transfer System (RTS) provides the preparation of samples for subsequent techniques.  Also available is a Leica Microbiopsy Transfer System (not shown) which provides the means for rapidly collecting microbiopsy specimens and rapidly e microbiopsies (0.3x0.6x1.2mm in size) from donor to the high pressure freezer for freezing within 30-60 seconds.
 
Leica EM PACT2 high pressure freezer equipped with RTS allows ultra-rapid freezing of specimens.   High pressure freezing (hpf) is ultra-rapid and the best way to preserve the native structure of cells and molecules.  Antigenic sites in specimens are better preserved with hpf opening greater possibilities for localization of molecules of interest within cells.
 
6. Leica EM Automatic Freeze Substitution System is the follow-on procedure for high pressure freezing.
 
In the Leica EM automatic freeze substitution system specimens are fixed and resin-infiltrated at low temperature providing specimens with high quality structural preservation and specimens suitable for immunolabeling for electron microscopy.
 
7. Leica Ultracut UCT Microtome for ultrathin sectioning.FCS attachment allows low temperature ultrathin sectioning of biological samples at temperatures as low as -185°C.
 
This versatile ultramicrotome is the workhorse instrument in the EM Core that provides sections for TEM from specimens prepared by conventional and cryo methods.  Specimens can also be frozen and embedded is sucrose for sectioning and immunogold labeling following the method of Tokuyasu.  Specimens are typically cut using a diamond knife.
 
8. Leica VT1000S Vibrating-blade Microtome for sectioning of specimens in medicine, biology and industry, especially for sectioning fixed or fresh tissue immersed in buffer solution.
 
Like a microtome, a vibratome provides tissue sections, but in a vibratome a vibrating razor blade is used for cutting.  Tissues sections from the vibratome are sometimes used in the EM Core in immunolabeling procedures.
 
9. CRESSINGTON 308 COATING SYSTEM
 
Cressington coating system provides thermal evaporation of various metals, sputtering (often of gold/palladium SEM samples, carbon evaporation and glow discharge.  Samples for SEM and grids for TEM applications are often modified in the Cressington in preparation for microscopy.