Welcome to the Electron Microscope Research Core

The goal of the Electron Microscope Research Core Facility is to support investigators in their pursuit of studies involving electron microscopy at the lowest possible hourly fee. Investigators can examine their research specimens on the Hitachi TEM with Karen Bentley as the real-time digital image is displayed on a computer monitor.

The size of each digital image captured is 7 MB and is saved as a TIFF or JPEG file. Each photography session’s digital files are saved and transferred onto a USB jump stick. Our laboratory can also perform Scanning Electron Microscopy on any specimen type.

To arrange a consultation, please contact Karen Bentley via email or by phone at (585) 275-1954 (office).

Lab fax: (585) 756-5337
Location: Medical School basement (elevators with yellow diamonds)
Intramural address: Pathology, Box 626

Specific Instrumentation/Equipment

  • Transmission Electron Microscope Hitachi 7650 with EDS (IF Instruments) and STEM (scanning/transmission unit for darkfield EM)
  • Scanning Electron Microscope Zeiss Supra 40VP Field Emission available for use by EM Core staff via the Department of Optics, River Campus
  • Ultramicrotomes (2) LKB III (1971) & Reichert UltraCut III (1986) for sectioning epoxy embedded tissue blocks
  • Critical Point Dryer (1991), BALZERS, CPD 030 used for specimen drying process prior to SEM examination
  • Light Microscopes (2), Olympus BX-40(1997 & BH-2(1984), Double Headed
  • Dissecting Microscope, Baush & Lomb(1980)
  • Diamond knives (4), Diatome, for thin-sectioning epoxy blocks

Specialized Services

  • Routine TEM and SEM sample preparation of tissues and cells for morphologic interpretation
  • Detection of antigen/antibody reactions with Immunoelectron Microscopy embedding of cells or tissue for either pre-embedding or post-embedding labeling of the antigen/antibody complex using biotin-HRP, or gold conjugated markers to precisely localize antigens in a subcellular compartment or organelles.
  • Organelle Subcellular fraction identification of RER, SER, Golgi, mitochondria, peroxisomes, melanosomes and/or immunolabeling of organelles using a pelleting/embedding technique.
  • Morphometric analysis of various subcellular structures, such as muscle fibers, viral particles, bacteria, collagen and amyloid fibrils. Nanoparticles are measured for size verification and quality control of those projects involving Nanotoxicology/Nanotechnology.
  • Nanoparticle Identification Using Darkfield STEM is a contrast mode allowing positioning of a fine probe of high energy electrons over a thin section on a grid. This causes an "edge effect" and nanoparticles appear as bright objects against the "darkfield” making it extremely useful for localization of very small (<20nm) “suspect” nanoparticles translocated into cells or tissue.
  • Elemental Analysis using EDS, an attached detector cooled with liquid nitrogen and used in biological studies to provide exact elemental identification or confirmation of above mentioned “suspect” nanoparticles identified visually by Brightfield TEM or detected using Darkfield STEM.
  • Cell Culture “Pop-off” technique to remove and examine ultrastructurally cells grown on glass slides or coverslips. An additional “Pop-off” technique involves the removal of  a rare cell(s) from a 2-micron epoxy section adhered to a glass slide previously made only for light microscopy.
  • Viral Negative staining using phosphotungstic acid or uranyl acetate to identify viral particles or viral-like particles (VLPs) placed onto formvar coated grids.
  • Color Hi-Res Plastic Sections, Spurr epoxy resin one micron sections are stained sequentially with methylene blue and basic fuchsin.

Executive Committee

The Electron Microscope Research Core has a formal faculty oversight group:

  • Allison Elder
  • Gunter Oberdorster
  • George Porter
  • Edward Schwarz

Contact Us

Karen de Mesy Bentley, M.S., Director
Phone: (585) 275-1954
Office: B-7806
EM Labs: B-7811, B-7819