The Cryo-EM shared resource is equipped with standard sample-preparation instruments used in negative stain and cryogenic electron microscopy grid generation. Our team provides sample preparation services as well as training in these techniques. We consult with users looking to optimize freezing conditions and overcome challenges, such as preferred orientation and low particle density.
To request services or training, please refer to our rates and scheduling page.
We provide structured training for both newcomers and users with previous experience in single-particle electron microscopy analysis. We review electron microscope safety, negative staining, carbon coating and cryo-EM grid-freezing protocols in a one-on-one format. Users can schedule recommended buffer conditions and troubleshooting consultations with core staff as needed. We grant users independent-use status and door access to the cryo-EM laboratory space after they pass proficiency tests at the end of each training section.
Users have access to:
We provide thin carbon coating of grids for negative-stain or cryo-EM studies. The standard turnaround time to coat negative-stain or cryo-EM grids with a thin layer of carbon is five business days.
We provide negative staining services for single-particle samples provided by users. Sample handoff must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. Users must provide samples and buffers.
We provide cryo-EM grid-freezing services for single-particle samples provided by users. Sample handoff must be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance. Users must provide grids, samples and buffers.
Our staff will clip and load autogrids for use on the Glacios cryo-EM transmission electron microscope. Grid handoff must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance.
The negative-stain bench provides users with everything needed to make and stain their own sample for electron microscopy. This includes core-provided tweezers, uranyl formate stain, continuous carbon grids and grid boxes for storage, as well as use of the glow discharger and carbon coater.
Related service: Negative staining
This thin-film deposition system provides full-range, low-voltage thermal carbon evaporation and can produce fine-grained thin films via sputtering. The instrument allows transmission electron microscopy grids to be cleaned in plasma using the AC glow discharge option.
Related service: Thin carbon coating of grids
This instrument supports automated grid vitrification in liquid ethane. Users must provide their own samples and grids; we will provide all other necessary materials and tools.
Related service: Cryo-EM grid freezing