Electron Microscopy

Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities GmbH (VBCF)

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Core facility (CF)

Short Description

The Electron Microscopy (EM) Facility offers a variety of preparation techniques for biological samples of diverse origin. We examine the complex architecture of macromolecules, cells and tissues at high resolution using state-of-the-art conventional and cryo-techniques for specimen preparation and visualization. Whether you are interested in quick sample screening or high resolution 2D or 3D imaging, we can help. Furthermore, we provide the processing of purified molecules for conventional and cryo-electron microscopy as well as sample preparation for scanning electron microscopy.

We offer various techniques for the visualisation of:
- Molecules (RNA, DNA, proteins, lipids)
- Complexes (liposomes, emulsions, small synthetic structures)
- Viruses
- Bacteria
- Organelles
- Eukaryotic cells (fungi, plants, animals)
- Tissues
- Surface structures

Electron Microscopes:
- Hitachi TM-1000 Scanning Electron Microscope
- FEI Morgagni 268D Transmission Electron Microscope
- FEI Tecnai G2 20 Transmission Electron Microscope
- Thermo Scientific Glacios cryo-Transmission Electron Microscope

Contact Person

Thomas Heuser

Research Services

Visualisation of:
- cells and tissues in 2D and 3D
- molecules, micro-organisms, organelles, small synthetic structures
- surface structures (e.g. on flies and plants)

Sample preparation:
- conventional fixation
- cryo preparation:
+ immersion (plunge) freezing
+ Tokuyasu
- immunolabelling
- ultramicrotomy
- correlative microscopy
- negative staining
- rotary shadowing
- chemical or critical point drying
- sputter coating

Electron microscopes:
- FEI Morgagni 100kV TEM
- FEI 200kV high resolution TEM, tomography
- Thermo SCientific Glacios 200 kV cryo-TEM, tomography
- low resolution Hitachi TM-1000 table top SEM

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

The EM Facility uses various preparation and visualisation techniques - from conventional to cutting edge - for structure determination of biological samples. Depending on your question and sample we offer a variety of different preparation techniques to ensure optimal preservation of your specimen:

Preparation techniques:
- Preparation for scanning electron microscopy to study surface structures
- Negative Staining for rapid visualization of macromolecules, proteins, viruses, organelles or bacteria.
- Conventional chemical fixation for tissue samples and cell monolayers
- High pressure freezing and freeze substitution for superior cellular preservation of cells and tissues
- Rotary Shadowing for high contrast examination of protein complexes
- Freeze fracturing & etching for visualization of surfaces, membranes and inside of membrane compartments
- Immersion freezing (“cryo plunge freezing”) for near-native preservation of small samples
- Tokuyasu as a method for cryo-sectioning in combination with immunogold labeling
- Immunolabeling to locate structures of interest
- Ultramicrotomy: ultra-thin sectioning of resin embedded samples

Visualisation techniques:
- Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to visualise the surface topology of samples
- Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) for ultrastructure examination:
+ Conventional 2D Electron Microscopy
+ Tomography - 3D Electron Microscopy
+ Correlative microscopy
+ Cryo-electron microscopy (single particle cryo-EM)
+ Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET)


Please contact Thomas Heuser (head of the EM Facility) for questions or more information.
Thomas Heuser
Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF)
+43 1 796 2324 7120
The Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities (VBCF) is a research institute providing access to state of the art infrastructure and advanced research services on a fee-for-service basis. Additionally, VBCF core facilities are open to all forms of scientific cooperation. Information on general conditions of cooperation and usage fees is provided upon request.