Avanced Electron Microscopy Overview
A primary mission of the Advanced Electron Microscopy Facility is to develop techniques for preserving cellular structure with the highest degree of reliability. These techniques involve different methods for rapidly freezing our samples in order to halt structural and biochemical activity in a very short timeframe, thus preserving structure in the "live" state. Once the sample is preserved in the "live" state, it is then possible to study the ultrastructure of these samples using not only basic Electron Microscopy imaging techniques, but also state-of the-art techniques such as: 1) 3-D electron tomography, 2) CLEM, and 3) Cryo-EM techniques.
The Advanced Electron Microscopy facility at The University of Chicago occupies over 2000 sq. ft in the Gordon Center for Integrative Sciences (GCIS). The cornerstones of the facility are the Cryo-EM dedicated FEI Talos 200kV xFEG electron microscope, and the FEI Tecnai F30 300kV FEG (s)TEM Electron Microscope. Both of these scopes are supported by the Tecnai Spirit 120kV LaB6 routine electron microscope. The facility also contains a Bal-Tec high-pressure freezer, a FEI vitrobot, 2 Leica freeze-substitution devices, an Edwards evaporator, 2 Leica ultramicrotomes, a Fishione dual-axis high tilt holder for tomography, 2 Gatan cryo-holders, Gatan plasma cleaner, computer workstations, ancillary laboratory equipment such as light microscopes, wet lab bench space, a CO2 incubator, fume hoods, and general consumables related to electron microscopy.
Facility Director Jotham Austin, PhD and Yimei Chen oversee the daily operations of the core. The core provides assisted preparation and imaging services, and training for transmission electron microscopy. All basic, “classic” TEM sample preparation and imaging can be provided including, but not limited to: chemical fixation; tissue embedding; sectioning; immunogold-labeling; negative staining; and imaging. We also offer advanced techniques, such as single particle analysis workflows, from negative stain analysis thru to automated Cryo-EM data acquisitions. Correlative Light/Electron Microscopy (CLEM), which allows users to correlate fluorescently-tagged proteins to high resolution TEM structure studies. 3D electron tomography and STEM 3D electron tomography, both of which can provide accurate three-dimensional reconstructions with 5 – 7 nm resolution.
Equipment ReservationsCore Lab Scheduler