Electron Microscopy (EM)—Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick

The electron microscopy laboratory at the Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF‑Frederick) has a variety of capabilities for the analysis of biological samples at an ultrastructural level. Specialized methods include transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), negative staining techniques and assays, immunogold labeling, and quantitation of biological samples.

Main Areas of Focus

The electron microscopy laboratory focuses on the analysis and diagnosis of virus-infected tissues, cells, supernatants, and purified preparations.

Capabilities

  • Custom protocols based on specific sample types and study goals
  • Fresh chemical fixatives and custom reagents
  • Precise protocols and methods for sample preparation
  • Analysis and scientific evaluation of tissues, cells, and suspension samples
  • Immunolabeling and virus quantitation assays
  • High-resolution digital images from transmission and scanning electron microscopes
  • Data interpretation and analysis
  • Publication-quality data reports and analyses

Left: Colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (orange) within an endosome of a Vero E6 cell (blue). Right: Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of CCL-81 cells (purple) infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (green).

Left: Colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (orange) within an endosome of a Vero E6 cell (blue). Right: Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of CCL-81 cells (purple) infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (green).

Credit
NIAID IRF-Frederick

Left: Colorized transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (orange) within an endosome of a Vero E6 cell (blue). Right: Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of CCL-81 cells (purple) infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (green).

Credit: NIAID IRF-Frederick

cells infected with ebola virus

Left: Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Vero E6 cells (blue) chronically infected with Ebola virus (EBOV) particles (green). Right: Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Vero E6 cell (orange) chronically infected with Ebola virus (EBOV) particles (green).

Credit
NIAID IRF-Frederick

Left: Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Vero E6 cells (blue) chronically infected with Ebola virus (EBOV) particles (green). Right: Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a Vero E6 cell (orange) chronically infected with Ebola virus (EBOV) particles (green).

Credit: NIAID IRF-Frederick

Standards

All procedures are well-documented and adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs), methods, or study-approved plans and agreements.

Collaboration Opportunities

  • Studies relevant to human disease
  • Use of surrogate systems to test clinical hypotheses
  • Use of biological systems to answer questions regarding disease pathogenesis and strategies for intervention including antimicrobials, vaccines, and other countermeasures
  • Developing and incorporating cutting-edge technologies to understand infectious diseases

Read more about how to work with the IRF-Frederick.

To explore an extensive gallery of images, including many generated through electron microscopy, visit NIAID’s Flickr account.

Location

Integrated Research Facility at Fort Detrick (IRF-Frederick)

Contact Information

Mike Holbrook, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist and Director of Biocontainment (Contractor)