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Vanderbilt Cryo Electron Microscopy Facility

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Facility Overview

The Vanderbilt Cryo Electron Microscopy Facility (V-CEM)  houses three Thermo Scientific cryo transmission electron microscopes for high resolution data collection of biological specimens by tomography and single-particle analysis.

The Titan Krios G3i is the state-of-the-art 300kV microscope that combines equipment stability, enhanced automation and advanced software to aid researchers in efficient data collection. This microscope is equipped with a Volta phase plate, Gatan’s BioQuantum energy filter, K3 and Falcon3 direct electron detector (DED) cameras and will be computationally supported by multiple GPU workstations and a local 600TB RAID system. The Polara 300 kV microscope is equipped with both a Gatan K2 Summit DED camera and a 4k x 4k CCD camera for digital data collection. The K2 Summit is served by a dedicated 32TB RAID system for short-term data storage. The Tecnai 200 kV FEG electron microscope has two cryo-sample holders, a high tilt tomography holder and a 4k x 4k CCD camera. Both the Polara and Tecnai have SerialEM installed and have been calibrated for collecting tomographic tilt series and automated data collection. The facility also has a 100 kV Morgagni microscope with a 1k x1k AMT CCD camera for screening negative stain samples, three Thermo Scientific Vitrobots, two carbon/metal evaporators, and a glow discharge unit.

The microscopes are overseen by experienced staff who offer consultation and training in negative-stain and cryo sample preparation, single particle analysis, tomography, data processing and additional computational support.

Mission Statement

The goal of V-CEM is to make TEM accessible to all interested researchers at Vanderbilt. TEM is one of the fastest developing, cutting-edge structural techniques for exploring the organization of biological macromolecules. The unique strength of TEM is its versatility. Structures determined using TEM can span resolution ranges from very low- to atomic-levels (>30–1.8Å) and do not require crystalline samples for analysis.

In pursuit of its goal, the V-CEM enables TEM training and outreach by:

  • Providing extensive training to new users.
  • Providing advice and support in specimen preparation, data collection and image processing, computational image analysis, and structure determination.


Contact us to learn more about V-CEM.

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