The purpose of the Electron Microscopy Facility is to prepare, view, and photograph research specimens for investigators.
- Fixation, staining, embedding, and thin sectioning of samples.
- Scanning electron microscopy of whole cells and embryos.
- Electron microscopic immunocytochemistry using gold particle-conjugated antibodies as probes for subcellular protein localization. Labeling can be done either on cryosections or on resin-embedded samples (lowicryl, LR White), depending on which is more appropriate. Before an EM immunolabeling project can begin, the antibodies must be well-characterized with regard to the biochemical specificity of the antigen; the immunolabeling pattern at the light microscopic level; and the kinds of fixatives that allow recognition of the antigen.
- Visualization of DNA/DNA, RNA/DNA, protein/nucleic acid duplexes, and statistical analysis.
A moderate number of samples can be processed, photographed, and printed for the research staff. Large numbers of samples or long-term studies can be accommodated by training of staff members individually. Students and fellows are encouraged to work on projects independently.