UCL Faculty of Life Sciences


Electron microscopy

Electron microscopy (EM) provides a unique view of biological systems, allowing the visualization of the ultrastructure of your sample with nm resolution.

It has provided the basis of our understanding of tissue and cellular architecture and continues to reveal a wealth of information about how cells and tissues function in health and disease.

The LMCB has been specialising in cell biological EM for over 20 years. The facility comprises state-of-the-art specimen preparation and imaging technologies which, together with two experienced researchers, support the needs of the LMCB groups in all their EM research.  

With experience of a wide range of electron microscopy techniques as well as a broad range of model organisms, we can provide advice, training and practical support for researchers throughout the entire timeline of their projects. For example: planning experiments, sample preparation, imaging and data analysis. The support given is tailored to each project, and can vary from advice and technical support for the more experienced, full training in required techniques and the equipment use for the less experienced researchers or the undertaking of the EM projects ourselves, a collaborative endeavour as part of the ongoing research.

Selected publications


  • Jemima Burden (Technology leader). Twitter @JemimaBurden
  • Ian White (Deputy electron microscopy leader). Twitter @EM_Ian

Research themes



FEG Scanning Electron Microscope

Zeiss Gemini 300 SEM
Secondary electron detectors
Retractable Backscatter electron detector
STEM detector
Atlas 5 with Scan generator
Tandem decel sample bias
Variable pressure (and nanoVP)

Transmission Electron Microscope 120kV

FEI 120kV Tecnai
Tilt tomography
Fischione holders
OSIS digital camera
Gatan digital camera

Fluorescence inverted light microscope

Leica inverted microscope
LED fluorescence
Colour digital camera with LAS


Leica Ultracut FC
50-500nm sections
-80C to -120C
Diamond cryo knives

Room Temperature Ultramicrotome

Leica UC7
50-500nm sections
Program countdown
Digital camera
Diamond knives

Freeze Substitution

Leica AFS2 with FSP
Fully programmable freeze substitution
Auto liquid handling

High Pressure Freezer

High pressure freezer
Flat and tube system
2000 bar


Leica Med020
Carbon coater
Rotary shadow

Glass Knife maker

Leica Knife maker
Reproducible glass knives


96 Gb RAM, 12 cores
Quadro K6000
Amira, Imaris, iTEM, Digital Micrograph, Volocity and Fiji

Critical Point Dryer

Leica CPD
Fully automated
Coverslips, grids and mesh baskets

"Son of Beast"

96Gb RAM, 12 cores
Amira, IMOD, iTEM, Fiji, Volocity


Leica stereoscope
Long working distance
Digital camera with LAS

Complete list of publications

Europe PMC | PubMed

User policies

The EM equipment are principally used by LMCB staff but access is open to all UCL staff as well as to external users on a collaboration basis. Please contact Jemima Burden for details.

  • Sophie Acton (LMCB, UK)
  • Daniel Cutler (LMCB, UK)
  • Rob De Bruin (LMCB, UK)
  • Robin Ketteler (LMCB, UK)
  • Janos Kristin-Vizi (LMCB, UK)
  • Alison Lloyd (LMCB, UK)
  • Yanlan Mao (LMCB, UK)
  • Mark Marsh (LMCB, UK)
  • Chris Stefan (LMCB, UK)
  • Frances Brodsky (UCL, UK)
  • Lucy Collinson (FCI, UK)
  • Derek Hausenluoy (UCL, UK)
  • Josef Kittler (UCL, UK)
  • Paul Gissen (ICH, UCL, UK)
  • Tom Nightingale (QMUL, UK)
  • Patricia Salinas (UCL, UK)
  • Buzz Baum (MRC LMB, UK)
  • Jason Mercer (Birmingham University, UK)
  • Ewa Paluch (Cambridge University, UK)
  • Kevin Staras (University of Sussex, UK)