HomeSingle particle cryoEM at Cornell UniversityGrid making/preparation equipment

Grid making/preparation equipment

Two sample preparation labs are available at CCMR, one in Duffield Hall (231) and one in Clark Hall (D21E). Both labs can be used to:

  1. familiarize users with grid making
  2. negative stain sample preparation
  3. freeze samples via manual and/or automated plunge freezing devices

In Duffield Hall, users can also prepare tissues and/or more complex biological samples via sample embedding in resins, and microtomy.

Copper grids are available in various meshes. Plastic (But-Var) films are made by managers/users, followed by carbon deposition. If other types of grids are needed for your project, these can be obtained by talking to the managers. Negative stain reagents (1% Uranyl acetate, ammonium molybdate, PTA, etc.) are available in the labs. Trainees have access to commonly used tools (microscope slides, parafilm, carbon rods, tweezers, filter paper, stains), but they are encouraged to create their own EM toolkit for convenience (contact the managers for tool and vendor info). Typically lacey, holey, and continuous carbon film grids are available for same-day use.

Glow discharge/plasma cleaning devices are also available at the Duffield and Clark Hall labs. They’re used to provide a uniform polar surface to apply samples onto. Grid storage boxes are provided, however, for cryo experiments, users must bring their own grids and cryo boxes or storage devices (consult with managers for vendor information). Limited space is available for temporary cryo sample storage, thus users are encouraged to store samples in their own labs.

For cryo samples, users should obtain pre-coated grids from either Quantifoil or Protochips.

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