What We Do
The Electron Microscopy Facility enables biological research at micro- and nano-scales and provides Janelia researchers a nexus for multidisciplinary collaboration in high-resolution imaging. We offer state-of-the-art instrumentation, services, and training in sample preparation, transmission electron microscopy and image analysis. With 5,000-square-feet of space, we’re set up to prepare samples using conventional wet chemistry, microwave techniques and high-pressure freezing/freeze substitution. Our skilled staff will assist researchers and train them in the science and practice of electron microscopy as well.
- FEI Tecnai Spirit BioTWIN trasmission electron microscope with LaB6 gun and Gatan Oneview camera
- Zeiss Xradia 510 Versa for submicron X-ray imaging
- Delphi integrated scanning electron microscope and fluorescence microscope
- Wohlwend HPF Compact 03 high-pressure freezer
- Leica EM ICE high pressure freezer
- Leica EM AFS2 automatic freeze-substitution system for processing samples prepared by high-pressure freezing or progressive lowering of temperature (PLT) methods
- Built-in UV lamp for UV-catalyzed resin polymerization at low temperature
- Leica UC7 and UC6 ultramicrotomes for room temperature and cryo semi-thin and ultra-thin sectioning. Each microtome is positioned in a separate room with adequate bench space and ancillary specimen preparation equipment so as to be self-contained sectioning areas
- EMS 100 Glow Discharge unit for making support films on grids hydrophilic
- Pelco BioWave Pro microwave oven with ColdSpot, SteadyTemp, and vacuum chamber options for maximum microwave sample preparation flexibility
- Tousimis Autosamdri-931 critical point dryer
- Leica EM ACE600 sputter coater
- Leica VT1000S Vibrotome
- Operation of microscopes and acquisition of images
- Sample fixation and processing
- Sample sectioning and staining for TEM
- Development of protocols for special research needs
Dr. Wei-Ping Li completed her Ph.D. in cell biology with Jürgen Roth, the “immunogold master” who pioneered the use of immunogold EM on thin sections (Sedwick 2013). Following in the footsteps of her mentor, Dr. Li is Janelia’s immunogold expert, developing protocols that enable researchers to analyze connectivity between identified neurons at the EM level.
Double immunogold labeling in mouse brain is used to distinguish different cell types. Protocol was optimized to preserve antigenicity and synaptic ultrastructure (arrows).
Neuron expressing a fluorescent protein engineered by the Looger Lab was reconstructed from immunogold labeled serial sections of the mouse brain. Synapses (red arrows) are readily identifiable. Figure is modified from Viswanathan et al. (in press).