CF: Cryo-Electron Microscopy and Tomography Core Facility

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Head of Core Facility

Jiří Nováček, Ph.D. Jiří Nováček, Ph.D. Head of Core Facility
Phone: +420 54949 3893

Main Activity

Modern electron microscopy in structural biology on the cellular and molecular level is performed by cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography. Cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) is the only method to address pleiomorphic structures like cells and organelles in a close to native state, while cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is applied to study single particles, primarily larger macromolecular complexes, which have been isolated and purified by biochemical methods. Both methodologies provide information on the cellular and molecular level and are therefore ideal for in-depth structural-functional analysis in combination with state of the art biochemical characterisation. The main activities of the Core Facility will be centred on application of cryo-EM and cryo-ET, implementations of the required image processing capabilities, and explorations of suitable cryo-preparation techniques.

Unique Features

The main objective of the Core Facility is to establish a world-class facility for cryo-electron microscopy accessible also for external users. The centre will provide access to EM instrumentation set up for high-throughput image acquisition for single particle analysis as well as for the acquisition of cellular cryo-electron tomograms. Moreover, it will provide assistance to external users/collaborators in image processing (e.g. 3-D reconstruction, denoising, pattern recognition, segmentation, visualization). External user projects will be selected by peer review on the basis of scientific merit, technical suitability and feasibility. The centre will also offer training enabling non-specialists to develop the necessary skills. The high-end instrumentation and the team of experienced researchers will ensure expert services, user training and the cost-effective use of resources.

Key Equipment (Core Facility fully operational from 2014)

  • TEM microscope FEI Titan Krios equipped with a direct detector and an energy filter with a 4k CCD camera

  • TEM microscope FEI Tecnai F20 equipped with a 4k CCD camera and two side-entry cryo-holders

  • SEM/FIB microscope FEI Versa3D equipped with a Quorum cryo stage and transfer station

  • Vitrification robot and a manual plunger

  • Carbon coater and plasma cleaner

The Core Facility is part of Czech national centre of European Research Infrastructure Consortium INSTRUCT ERIC under the Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology (CIISB) funded by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic. Foreign users can also benefit from access through project iNEXT-Discovery.

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