Research Facilities

Electron Microscopy

The main Biosciences EM Facility has a number of Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM), including a new field emission scanning microscope. The Facility also contains a sample preparation laboratory, with a range of preparation equipment. We run as a multi user facility or on a service basis, which allows users the choice as to what level of involvement they wish to have.

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology (LMCB) also has an EM Facility. Projects are conducted on a collaborative basis and has a similar set of instrumentation and experience as the Biosciences EM Facility.

Tel: 0207 679 2524 / 32524
Mark Turmaine,
Katie Bax, -

Room B14 in the basement of the Anatomy Building on Gower Street.

List of Equipment

· 2x Jeol 1010 - Transmission Electron microscopes (with Digital Image Capture)

· Jeol 7401 - high resolution Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope

· Jeol 5410LV - Medium resolution tungsten variable vacuum Scanning Electron Microscope

· Ultra-Microtomes

· AFS – freeze substitution unit/ cryo preparation system

· Cressinton High Vacuum freeze etch Unit

· Carbon Coater

· Ion Beam Coater (variable sources)

· Gold Sputter Coater

· Critical point/ Freeze dryer.

All of our microscopes are linked to digital imaging equipment, for ease of image capture, transport and backup.

Techniques and Capabilities

TEM sample preparation - Ultra thin sectioning, rotary shadowing, replication, negative staining.

SEM sample preparation - critical point drying, freeze drying, evaporation coating, ion beam coating.

Cryofixation and embedding.

Immuno labeling for TEM and SEM.


The use of the equipment is at an hourly rate, but for those wishing to use the service provided we operate on a cost recovery basis. The prices are a guideline and we ask for these users to discus the work, and therefore the cost involved, before agreeing for the facility to carry out the work.

Machine time:
TEM - £20 per hour
FEGSEM 7401 - £25 per hour
SEM 5400LV - £15 per hour

Specimen processing to resin block £110 for up to 8 samples.

Ultrathin sectioning £25 per block.

SEM sample preparation, critical point dried and gold coating, £50.


Training can be given in both sample preparation and in the use of any of the equipment and this is encouraged for students.

Students who require training on the equipment must ask a member of staff in advance to organize a time in which they can come to laboratory for a training session on their required machine.

Please note-full use of the machines takes time and experience, therefore a member of staff should always be on hand to assist with any trouble shooting issues that may occur. Students must therefore book sessions on the microscopes at all times.


Tebar LA, Géranton SM, Parsons-Perez C, Fisher AS, Bayne R, Smith AJ, Turmaine M, Perez-Luz S, Sheasby A, De Felipe C, Ruff C, Raivich G, Hunt SP.
Deletion of the mouse RegIIIbeta (Reg2) gene disrupts ciliary neurotrophic factor signaling and delays myelination of mouse cranial motor neurons.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Aug 12;105(32):11400-5. Epub 2008 Aug 4.

Ryten M, Koshi R, Knight GE, Turmaine M, Dunn P, Cockayne DA, Ford AP, Burnstock G.
Abnormalities in neuromuscular junction structure and skeletal muscle function in mice lacking the P2X2 nucleotide receptor.
Neuroscience. 2007 Sep 7;148(3):700-11. Epub 2007 Jul 17.

Sharghi-Namini S, Turmaine M, Meier C, Sahni V, Umehara F, Jessen KR, Mirsky R.
The structural and functional integrity of peripheral nerves depends on the glial-derived signal desert hedgehog.
J Neurosci. 2006 Jun 7;26(23):6364-76.

McKinnell IW, Turmaine M, Patel K.
Sonic Hedgehog functions by localizing the region of proliferation in early developing feather buds.
Dev Biol. 2004 Aug 1;272(1):76-88.


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Page last modified on 02 aug 11 13:05