The EM unit has an FEI 120 kV Tecnai Spirit Biotwin and a FEI 300 kV Titan Krios TEM for 2D and cryo-tomographic capabilities to provide maximum ultrastructural 3D resolution to visualize viruses, bacteria, macromolecular complexes, and subcellular components for the study of host-pathogen interactions. This improved ability offers significant structural information, improving our ability to relate structure to function. The 300 kV microscope with automated stage, tomography package, and energy filtering systems improve resolution in all axes and give us the ability to bridge the imaging gap between confocal microscopy and electron microscopy and to expand toward molecular imaging.
The Vitrobot allows rapid freezing of whole viruses, bacteria, and macromolecular complexes under climate-controlled conditions in liquid ethane cooled to liquid nitrogen temperatures.
Small aliquots of specimens in suspension are applied to holey grids, blotted with filter paper, and rapidly frozen to suspend within support film holes, where they are embedded in vitreous (non-crystalline) ice. Specimens can then be imaged under cryo-conditions for either 2D or 3D analysis.
After freezing specimens in suspension, regions of interest are determined under low-dose conditions to avoid radiation damage. Ideal imaging takes place in areas with very thin ice, usually where specimens are well-spread.
Last Updated August 16, 2013
Last Reviewed August 16, 2013