The Electron Microscopy Facility provides investigators with modern resources for analyzing neuronal ultrastructure and macromolecular structure. There are five components of the facility:
- Tissue Preparation and Embedding
- Tissue Sectioning
- Light Microscopy
- Electron Microscopy
- Photographic Darkroom
Most users will fix and embed tissues in their own laboratories. There is, however, limited space in the facility for tissue preparation and embedding, including a hood and oven. There are several microtomes for preparing sections from plastic embedded tissue: a sliding microtome (Microm Model HM 400) for preparing thick sections and three ultra-microtomes for preparing thin sections (Sorvall, Reichert and Reichert Ultracut for serial sectioning). A carbon coater is used to stabilize thin sections. Thick tissue sections are examined on two light microscopes (Zeiss Photomicroskop III and Zeiss Standard with camera lucida). Thin sections are examined on the JEOL 100CX electron microscope. The facility has two darkrooms, one for EM negative development, the other for photographic printing. The printing darkroom is equipped with a Beseler enlarger, automatic print processor and flat bed dryer. There is also a Kreonite sink for manual processing of prints. Use of facility requires payment of an annual maintenance fee, which varies from year to year. An initial consultation is available at no charge. The EM facility is staff by a technician who will be available to assist on a limited basis in the preparation of specimens and the operation of the electron microscope.