Cryo-Electron Microscopy Facility

HEAD: Paolo Swuec

Every biological process, including physiologic and pathologic events, is precisely orchestrated by active and reactive biological macromolecules. The function, organisation and activity of these molecules strictly depend on both their three-dimensional (3D) structure and the cellular environment in which they operate.

The Cryo-Electron Microscopy (Cryo-EM) Core Facility at Human Technopole aims at identifying, visualizing and characterizing these biological players alone and in their cellular compartment. The Facility is designed to efficiently combine SPA (single-particle analysis), ET (electron tomography) and CLEM (correlative light electron microscopy) workflows to study in detail the structure of single macromolecules as well as whole cellular compartments.

To ensure maximum productivity and research quality, the Facility benefits from state-of-the-art equipment including

  • A Thermo Scientific Titan Krios G4i 300kV TEM equipped with Thermo Scientific Falcon 4 direct electron detector, Thermo Scientific Selectris X energy filter, Thermo Scientific CETA 16M and Volta phase-plate
  • a Thermo Scientific Spectra 300kV STEM equipped with a Thermo Scientific CETA 16M with speed enhancement fully dedicated to electron tomography workflows
  • a Thermo Scientific Glacios 200kV TEM equipped with Thermo Scientific Falcon 4 and CETA 16M and Volta phase-plate
  • a Thermo Scientific Talos L120C 120kV TEM equipped with Thermo Scientific CETA 16M to allow both room temperature and cryogenic imaging (by Gatan ELSA cryo-holder)
  • a Thermo Scientific Aquilos 2 DualBeam cryo-FIB system.

Ancillary equipment includes fluorescence microscopes with a cryo-stage for CLEM applications (Leica Stellaris and Leica Thunder), plunge freezing devices (manual plunger, Leica EM GP2 and Thermo Scientific Vitrobot Mk IV), glow discharger units (Quorum GloQube Plus and Pelco EasyGlow), plasma cleaners (Gatan Solarus II and Diener PICO), carbon coating system (Leica EM ACE600), and other sample preparation tools for high-pressure freezing (Leica EM ICE), freeze substitution (Leica AFS2) and ultramicrotomy (Leica FC7-UC7) of resin embedded and vitrified samples.

Human Technopole’s Cryo-EM Facility mission is to provide access to a highly productive, world-class scientific hub, capable of solving at high resolution, from tissue to amino acid side-chains, the many questions faced by contemporary life science.

Each Human Technopole facility has specific rules and policies to determine access on behalf of internal and external scientists.

Our first facilities will open in 2021. Following their opening, we will be sharing the rules for accessing our infrastructures with the national scientific community.

Facility members