Cryo microscopy

The Cryo Microscopy Group (CMG) in Nottingham November 2011

On the 16th of November 2011 we attended the Cryo Microscopy Group meeting. It seemed very appropriate that the meeting was held in the Boots Science Building, School of Pharmacy, at the University of Nottingham, whose motto is “A City is Built on Wisdom”.  It was here that international speakers and forward thinkers in cryo-microscopy came to network and talk about best practice. 

We took the LTS420, THMS600 and FDCS196 heating/freezing stages along with our popular Imaging Station.  Delegates were extremely interested in the wide range of applications and unparalleled temperature control offered by Linkam products. 

Linkam Scientific Exhibition standThe atmosphere was light hearted and the number of exhibitions truly impressive. We had the great pleasure of meeting many of our existing customers and pleased to introduce our range to some new faces whilst hopefully answering all of your questions.

All in all it was a very enjoyable day (Great Cakes!) and a first for me, representing a company at an exhibition, something I hope to do again soon. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the meeting for being so welcoming and for making it a very enjoyable and interesting event for all of us.

by Caroline Feltham

Correlative Microscopy at Leiden University Medical Centre

A researcher at LUMC using the THMS600 to look at fluorescently labelled bacteria at liquid nitrogen temperature for correlative light electron microscopy

Professor A.J. Koster and his team at Leiden University Medical Centre are using the THMS600 in a correlative light and electron microscopy setup, to aid the cryo-study of biological specimens.

His group focuses on applications in cell biology, including the study of viral infections and viral replication where fluorescence may be used to pinpoint areas worthy of enhanced investigation. Also of particular interest is the field of vascular biology and the mechanism via which vascular endothelial cells initiate repair in response to injury and inflammation.

His goal is to localize molecular structures in cells using fluorescence microscopy and then transfer the sample to a cryo-electron microscopy (Cryo-EM) set up to image the corresponding macromolecular structures in 3D with nm-scale resolution.

The group wanted a cryo-FM sestup that was easy to implement and selected the THMS600 heating and freezing stage which was modified in order to accommodate EM support grids.

Professor Koster says, “before we found the Linkam system in the literature and the ability to correlate microscopies, combining modalities was next to impossible. We have now been using this cryo-CLEM method for more than three years. It has certainly enabled us to produce results quickly and hence get to publication more rapidly too.” (European Journal of Cell Biology 88 (2009) 669–684). 

Posted by Rosie Hider

Preserving and protecting our great oceans...

Delegates being given a practical demonstraion of freeze-drying microscopy

With the conservation of marine life becoming more important as the degree of human impact on the oceans is becoming further apparent, scientists from all over the globe are working on educating the world on protecting the ocean and its inhabitants.

In February, delegates from as far afield as Korea converged at the Scottish Marine Institute for the “Conservation of marine micro-organisms training course” held under the auspices of the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences and the Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories (ASSEMBLE).

Organised by Dr. John Day (who runs the Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa), the course was run over 2 days and included lectures on marine microbiology conservation and cryopreservation. One lecture in particular, on lyophilisation theory,  given by Dr Paul Matejtschuk (NIBSC-Health Protection Agency)  was supplemented by a practical demonstration of freeze-drying microscopy using our FDCS-196 Freeze drying cryo stage.

Delegates were impressed by the relative ease of use and power of resolution offered by the polarised light options which make this one of the most valuable tools in determining critical temperatures for vitrification, cryopreservation and freeze drying.

Many thanks to John, Paul and all the others for putting on extremely informative course and for all the hard work that they are putting in trying to educate people on the importance of marine conservation.

Posted by Ricky Patel