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Electron Microscopy Resource Laboratory (Penn)

Director: Molugu, Sudheer., PhD


The Electron Microscopy Resource Lab (EMRL) at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, is a training and service facility dedicated to providing both conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of cells and tissues and state-of the art cryo electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and cryo electron tomography (cryo-ET) for structural investigation of macromolecules and cells. Our facility houses four transmission electron microscopes: JEM-1010 microscope for ultrastructure analysis; T12, TF20, and Krios G3i microscopes for cryo-EM/cryo-ET analysis. The core facility offers services to University of Pennsylvania research groups and external academic research groups in the greater Philadelphia area.





  • Abra HPM010 ( High pressure freezer )

    Available for cryogenic preparation of biological material

  • FEI Quanta 250 FEG environmental SEM ( Environmental scanning electron microscope )

    The Quanta 250 FEG eSEM is suitable for high resolution SEM applications. The facility houses the necessary equipment to prepare biological samples for high vacuum SEM, such as critical point dryers, plasma cleaners, and sputter coaters. In addition, this instrument can work at high pressures when equipped with a Peltier stage so that hydrated specimens are suitable for electron backscatter imaging. In addition, wet STEM applications are now available so that material submerged in liquid can now be imaged.

  • FEI-Tecnai T12 S/TEM ( Scanning transmission electron microscope )

    The FEI Tecnai 12 120 keV S/TEM is equipped with a 2K x 2K Gatan 894 camera and EDAX electron dispersive SiLi detector. This microscope is equipped with low dose imaging software, a cryogenic cold box, and multiple cryogenic holders for imaging of frozen hydrated specimens.

    The T12 is suitable for cryogenic TEM, EDS analysis, tomography, cell pathology, and montage imaging.

  • FEI-Tecnai TF20 S/TEM ( Scanning transmission electron microscope )

    The FEI Tecnai TF20 200 keV S/TEM is equipped with the latest generation CMOS direct electron detector, 2K x 2K video rate Gatan Orius camera as well as a Fischione HAADF for STEM Z imaging. This S/TEM is equipped with low dose imaging software, a cryogenic cold box, and multiple cryogenic holders for imaging of frozen hydrated specimens.

    The TF20 is suitable for imaging of biological macromolecular complexes for single particle image reconstructions at sub-nanometer resolutions. This microscope also runs automated microscopy software, EPU, to facilitate collection of large datasets to achieve high resolution structures from low dose cryogenic images of biological molecules. This instrument is STEM capable and can perform tilt series imaging in either bright field TEM or STEM modes.

  • Fischione 1020 plasma cleaner ( Plasma cleaner )

  • JEOL-1010 transmission electron microscope ( Transmission electron microscope )

    The JEOL1010 is equipped with a 1K x 1K video rate AMT digital camera.

    This microscope is extremely easy to use and is dedicated to high throughput biological imaging.

  • Leica AFSII ( Freeze substitution system )

    Two Leica AFSII are available for cryogenic preparation of biological material.

  • Leica CPM100 plunge/slam freezer ( Plunge freezing instrument )

  • Nikon E800 Eclipse microscope ( Optical microscope )

  • Reichert Ultracut-S ( Ultratome )


  • Electron microscope access ( Access service )

    Experienced users can use the core's TEMs, with the core providing guidance and assistance as needed.

  • Electron microscopy consultation service ( Support service )

    Consultation on:

    • Project planning
    • Protocol design
    • Optimal specimen collection and preparation
    • Figure preparation for publication and presentation
    • Grant applications

  • Electron microscopy instrument operation and data collection ( Material analysis service )

    Examples of services provided are:

    • negative stain analysis
    • routine analyses
    • electron cryomicroscopy
    • electron dispersive x-ray spectroscopy
    • montage imaging
    • single particle data collection
    • single particle analysis

  • Electron microscopy training service ( Training service )

    Users are trained to operate equipment in the facility.

  • Interpretation of microscopic images generated in muscle-related studies ( Support service )

    "In addition to all the microscopic imaging services provided by the Electron Microscopy Resource Laboratory (EMRL), Penn researchers who conduct muscle-related studies can also access the special expertise from members of the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute (PMI) to help interpret microscopic images generated by the EMRL. Contact the PMI for available consulting services."

  • Phenotypic characterization and ultrastructural analysis of biological specimens ( Material analysis service )

    Routine analyses include:

    • Sample preparation
    • Cryogenic imaging (assisted microscopy)
    • EM imaging, digital micrograph processing
    • Post imaging image analysis

    Specialized services include:

    • electron dispersive x-ray spectroscopy
    • single particle data collection
    • negative stain analysis
    • montage imaging
    • electron cryo-microscopy
    • single particle classification and three-dimensional reconstruction
    • generation of tomograms and volume segmentation analysis

  • Scanning electron microscopy service ( Material analysis service )

    Our facility has access to the following scanning electron microscopes at the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter:

    • Field-Emission scanning electron microscope - JEOL 7500F HRSEM
    • Environmental scanning electron microscope - FEI 600 Quanta FEG SEM
    • Focused Ion Beam - FEI Strata DB235 FIB

  • Specimen preparation for electron microscopy ( Material processing service )

    The facility’s Abra HPM010 high pressure freezer, two Leica AFSII freeze substitution machines, Leica CPM100 plunge/slam freezer, and cryogenic sectioning microtomes are available for cryogenic preparation of biological material and give superior preservation of biological specimens. In addition, our staff includes three dedicated personal with over fifty combined years of experience and equipment for all types of electron microscopy sample preparation at a nominal cost to U Penn researchers.

    Preparation services for of all types of biological specimens for electron microscopy analysis include:

    • plunge freezing
    • high pressure freezing
    • freeze substitution fixation
    • microwave tissue processing
    • thin sectioning
    • thick sectioning
    • cryosectioning
    • cryo-ultrasectioning
    • pre-embedding immunogold labeling
    • post-embedding immunogold labeling
    • SEM sample preparation/critical point drying

  • Transmission electron microscopy image construction tomography service ( Data analysis service )

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Last updated: 2019-12-13T13:11:51.194-05:00

Copyright © 2016 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
The eagle-i Consortium is supported by NIH Grant #5U24RR029825-02 / Copyright 2016