UCL Division of Biosciences


Electron Microscopy

The Biosciences EM core facility has two Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEMs) and one Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE-SEM). The Facility also contains a sample preparation laboratory, with a range of preparation equipment. It is 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.

Elizabeth Slavik-Smith
Phone number 02076798044

Newly refurbished laboratories are located in the basement of the Anatomy Building on Gower Street.

  • 2x Jeol 1010 - Transmission Electron microscopes (with Digital Image Capture)
  • Jeol 7401 - high resolution Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Ultra-Microtomes
  • AFS - freeze substitution unit/ cryo preparation system
  • Cressington 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.

  • 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 labelling 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 discuss the work, and therefore the cost involved, before agreeing for the facility to carry out the work.

Machine time:
TEM - £20 per hour
FE-SEM 7401 - £25 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.