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Core Facility Ultrastructure Analysis


The Core Facility Ultrastructure Analysis provides services in state - of - the art techniques in electron microscopy

useful whenever light microscopic resolution does not suffice for a particular morphological question.

Based on Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), our key expertise

comprises the characterization of ultrastructures in tissues or cells with conventional electron microscopy,

serial sectioning, 3D reconstruction and electron tomography.


Immunogold labeling techniques help us to localize antigens within tissues or cells at highest optical resolution.

Membranes and their specialisations such as cell contacts are visualised by the use of cryo electron microscopy

(high pressure freezing, freeze fracture).



ATUMTome /Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)


Thousands of ultrathin sections can be automatically collected on a Kapton tape for SeM imaging and

3 D – reconstruction. The system allows correlative microscopy for localization and ultrastructural


Connectomics – reconstructing neurons and synapses can be done together with the Research Unit

electron Microscopic Techniques (EMT) at the Institute of Cell Biology, Histology and embryology.


Correlative Light- and Electron Microscopy (C.L.E.M.)


is performed togehter with the Core Facility Imaging.

C.L.E.M. combines the capabilities of two typically separate microscopy platforms: light- or fluorescent

microscopy and electron - microscopy. This allows the analysis of the same cell with a combination of

light- or fluorescent and electron microscopy tools. C.L.E.M. thus enables visualizing structures of

interest or specific events in a live cell and then capturing them for detailed electron microscopical



Analytical electron microscopy


is performed togehter with the Research Unit EMT

Analytical electron microscopy allows detecting chemical elements within cells and tissue at high





Examples of research topics we have recently addressed, using the currently available microscopes, are:


  • Characterising the ultrastructure of tissues or cells, by taking thin (~70nm) sections of fixed and embedded samples and examining these using transmission EM.
  • Electron tomography -  3d reconstruction - visualization.
  • ATUMTome Technology
  • 3d reconstructions of serial thin sections.
  • The localisation of antigens within tissues or cells at a high optical resolution, using immunogold techniques.


Surveys of cell or tissue surfaces, using scanning electron microsopy.


Visualising membranes and their specialisations such as cell contacts using freeze fracture or freeze etch techniques.




Transmission Electron Microscope

      FEI Tecnai 20

 Our latest electron microscope, equipped with a tilt holder for electron tomography, and energy filter and an X-ray spectroscope. Applications: 3D reconstructions at high resolution in different tissues or cells; analysing the chemical elements within probes.


     ZEISS EM 900 refurbished system

to examine thin layers, such as ultra thin sections though specimens or freeze fracture/freeze etch preparations of membrane surfaces. This microscope operates at either 50 or 80kV.


Scanning Electron Microscope


     ZEISS Sigma 500

to visualize inner or outer surfaces of specimens

ATUMTome technology


   High Pressure Freezing machine

 HPM 100 Leica is a high pressure freezing system for vitrifying samples up to 200µm


 The laboratory is equipped with tools for preparing thin sections, freeze fracture/freeze etch and REM probes.



Dagmar Kolb-Lenz, PhD

Managing Director

Phone: +43 316 385 71888   


Gerd Leitinger, PD.PhD

Scientific Director

Phone: +43 316 385 71900



Dominique Pernitsch, BSc


Phone: +43 316 385 71881


Kerstin Hingerl


Phone: +43 316 385 71881



Medical University Graz

Core Facility Ultrastructure Analysis


8010 Graz, AUSTRIA