The Electron Microscopy Unit of the BEPS provides state-of-the-art instrumentation, training, and services.

Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Image taken using electron mictroscopy
Image by Hong Xu, Ph.D. et al., NHLBI, obtained using BEPS’s TEM equipped with CCD camera
  • Fully automated FEI Tecnai T12 transmission electron microscope
  • High-sensitivity 2k x 2k CCD camera for digital imaging and transfer of data across network directly to users’ laboratories.
  • Automated electron tomography, and energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy
  • Immuno electron microscopy

Preparative Techniques for TEM

  • Standard fixation, embedding and sectioning (Leica EM UC6 microtome)
  • High-pressure fixation (BalTec HPM 010)
  • Freeze-substitution (Leica EM AFS 1/2)
  • Pre- and post-embedding immunolabeling, cryosectioning (Tokyuasu technique) (Leica Ultracut UCT/FCS cryomicrotome)
  • Negative staining of macromolecular assemblies

Scanning Electron Microscopy

Image taken using scanning electron microscope
Image by Bechara Kachar, M.D., NIDCD, obtained using BEPS’s Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Fully automated Hitachi S-4800 field-emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) provides tool for determining 3D surface morphology of cells and biomaterials
  • Users can be trained to collect SEM images independently
  • Sputter coater (Balzers) for specimen preparation
  • Critical point dryer (EM Sciences)

Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy (SBF-SEM)

  • Fully automated Zeiss Sigma/Gatan 3View Serial block face SEM provides 3D imaging of tissues (up to 300 microns across) at the nanoscale
  • Visualization software for 3D rendering of biological structures
  • Specialized specimen preparation techniques for SBF-SEM of tissues and isolated cells

Location of Electron Microscopy Unit

Image obtained using BEPS serial block face SEM
Image by Abner Notkins, M.D., et al., NIDCR, obtained using BEPS’s Serial Block Face SEM

Building 13 on the NIH campus


  • Tecnai T12 TEM (BEPS staff operation) $150 per hour 
  • Tecnai T12 TEM (client operation) $80 per hour
  • Zeiss SIGMA/Gatan 3View SBF-SEM $100 per hour
  • Hitachi S-4800 (client operation) $100 per hour 
  • EM Sample Embedding $300 for 1-5 samples
  • EM Sample Sectioning $80 per sample 
  • EM Immunostaining $400 per set

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