Electron Microscopy

In 1995, EPL formed a strategic alliance with the Laboratory for Advanced Electron and Light Optical Methods (LAELOM) at the College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University.  This alliance has proven to be an unbeatable combination of technical and professional expertise for Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) services.  The LAELOM provides extensive consultation services to help investigators determine appropriate methods to approach their particular problems.

The LAELOM, a fully GLP-compliant laboratory, consists of a 2,000 square foot facility, equipped with a transmission and scanning electron microscope, as well as photomicroscopes and peripherals including:

  • JEOL JSM 6360LV Low Vacuum Scanning Electron Microscope
  • FEI/Philips Morgagni Transmission Electron Microscope with a Gatan Erlangshen ES1000W digital camera
  • Wild M400 Photomacroscope with a Nikon DS fi1 digital camera
    • Olympus Vanox AH-3 Photomicroscope equipped with a SPOT RT Slider cooled-CCD Digital Camera
  • Zeiss AxioImager M1 Photomicroscope equipped with bright field, phase, DIC, and dark field optics as well as having epifluoresence capabilities
  • Nikon 2000S inverted microscope with epifluorescence and Hoffman optics, with a Niknon DS fi1 digital camera
  • ImagePro Plus™ software for Morphometric Analysis

In addition to all of the necessary support equipment for preparing samples for electron microscopy, the LAELOM has a totally equipped darkroom.  A cryostat is also available for producing frozen sections for light microscopy.  The LAELOM houses a Leica Ultracut UC6 ultramicrotome as well as a Sorvall MT5000 ultramicrotome and a Reichert Ultracut E ultramicrotome.  Also available is a state-of-the-art Leica Ultracut UCT ultramicrotome with a Leica EM FCS attachment designed for cutting ultrathin frozen sections for immunolabeling.

Dr. Michael Dykstra, the LAELOM Director, has over 40 years of experience in ultrastructural research, as well as consultation in technical methods, budgeting, SOP preparation and equipment selection.  Dr. Dykstra has worked with the pharmaceutical industry for over 25 years.  The laboratory staff consists of biologists with experience in molecular biology, morphometry, electron microscopy, and photography.

The LAELOM has technical expertise working with:

  • Macromolecules (DNA, proteins)
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria (free-living and in biofilms)
  • Fungi
  • Protozoans
  • Cell Cultures
  • Metazoan Tissues (insects, crustaceans, mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, etc.)
  • Textile Polymers
  • Plastic Films from electrical storage cells
  • Artificial Joint Materials, Artificial Cell Matrices
  • Immunolabeling of ultrathin frozen and plastic-embedded sections

The LAELOM staff is available for assistance in the selection of fixation protocols, appropriate molecular probes (lectins, immunolabels, cytochemistry), and can provide instruction or advice concerning proper preparation of biological samples for evaluation.

The LAELOM provides training on available equipment to those familiar with EM techniques and also offers a one-semester electron microscopy course (CBS-732) in the fall to introduce novices to all of the techniques utilizing TEM, SEM, light microscopy and confocal microscopy.  Individual training in photomicroscopy, morphometry and digitized imaging is available.

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