titan electron microscope

Biological and Cryogenic Transmission Electron Microscopy

Grant Jensen, PI
Songye Chen, co-Director
Andrey Malyutin, co-Director

The Beckman Resource Center for Electron Microscopy (BRCem) provides advice, training, and access to high-end instrumentation for Caltech researchers and associates of the BRCem. The Resource Center is involved in projects in cell biology, structural biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and materials science, including both basic research and technology development. The BRCem is located in the Beckman Institute and the Broad Center on the Caltech campus.

Currently the facility is equipped with three transmission electron microscopes for high-resolution imaging of cryogenic samples and a screening electron microscope for routine TEM imaging.

  • Titan Krios G3i - 300 keV Field Emission (FEG) Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), equipped with a Gatan K3 Summit Direct Electron Detector, Gatan Energy Filter, and phase plates.
  • Talos Arctica - 200 keV FEG Transmission Electron Microscope, equipped with a Gatan K3 Summit Direct Electron Detector.
  • Tecnai (F30) Polara - 300keV FEG TEM equipped with a Gatan K2 Summit Direct Electron Detector and a Gatan Energy Filter.
  • Tecnai T12 - LaB6 120keV TEM equipped with a Gatan Ultrascan 2k X 2k CCD.

Access to the electron microscopes is available on completion of a tiered qualifying training course.

Please refer to the client resource policy at http://cryoem.caltech.edu/policies.

Options for collaboration and instrument usage rates are available on request.

(Statement regarding "Fee for Service Charges" for the BRCem: The Caltech rates for assisted and unassisted electron microscope use are calculated from the operational costs of instrument service contracts, consumables and associated salaries, relative to the user hours averaged over a three year period. These rates are comparable to surveyed nationwide electron microscopy service rates.)

Additional Equipment for Sample Preparation

  • Thermo Fisher Vitrobot vitrification devices for plunge-freezing of aqueous single particles or thin cells.
  • BalTec HPM010 high-pressure freezer system for bulk tissue and cell vitrification.
  • Leica AFS automated freeze substitution processor.
  • Cryo and conventional ultramicrotome (Leica EM UC6/FC6).
  • Nikon 90i computer-controlled epi-fluorescence microscope with Metamorph automation and imaging software.
  • Ancillary units for carbon coating/rotation shadowing/plasma ionization.

The Beckman and Broad facilities provide laboratory bench space for visitors, with temporary 4C, -80C and liquid nitrogen sample storage. Stocks of routine sample preparation chemicals are available, as are fume hoods and biohazard hoods. Isolated rooms for light microscopy and ultramicrotomy procedures are part of the facility. Limited training in image transfer and processing is provided.

For further information, visit http://cryoem.caltech.edu

Personnel associated with the Center

PI: Grant J. Jensen
Assoc. PI: Pamela J. Bjorkman
Center co-Director: Andrey Malyutin
Center co-Director: Songye Chen
Researcher: Mark S. Ladinsky


Andrey Malyutin, co-Director
Room B217 Beckman Institute
Mail Code 139-74
Tel: (626) 395-1246
Songye Chen, co-Director
Broad Center
Mail Code 114-95
Tel: (626) 395-8829