News Release: Research , School of Medicine , Woodruff Health Sciences

Feb. 22,  2011

Advanced Cryo-Electron Microscopes Unveiled at Emory

Open House: Emerson Hall, Friday, Feb. 25, 4 p.m.- 6 p.m.

Two state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopes (TEMs) will be unveiled this week at Emory University. One of the microscopes, equipped with phase plate technology, is one of only two such instruments in the United States and just a few in the world.

The instruments will be located at the Robert P. Apkarian Integrated Electron Microscopy Core (located in Emerson Hall), under the supervision of core director Elizabeth R. Wright, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine and a Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Investigator.

“We are excited about establishing Emory as a center for cryo-electron microscopy and looking forward to making these resources available to investigators at Emory and within the region,” Wright says.

Cryo-imaging offers layer-by-layer views of a frozen specimen, providing ultra-high-resolution.

One of the new instruments is a 200 kV field emission TEM equipped with energy filter, high resolution CCD camera and new Zernike phase plate technology.

The phase plate technology enhances the ability of scientists to visualize cells, viruses and the molecular machines inside cells, without the need for chemical fixation and stains that alter their structure. This instrument will be dedicated to cryo-imaging and analysis of biological and soft materials.

A 120 kV TEM will be devoted to imaging of sectioned and negatively stained samples. Both instruments were manufactured by JEOL Ltd.

Grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Research Resources supported the acquisition of the electron microscopes in 2010.

Caulobacter bacterial cells imaged without (left side) and with (right side) the Zernike phase contrast system


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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