Central Facility for Microscopy

Light microscopy and electron microscopy are excellent high resolution tools to investigate the adhesion and invasion mechanisms of pathogenic bacteria. High resolution electron microscopy permits to examine and unravel pathogenicity mechanisms on a morphological basis.ZEIM offers equipment and highly sophisticated expertise for the preparation and observation of biological samples.


Our Research

The facility provides access to several fluorescence microscopes, confocal microscopes, two transmission electron microscopes (TEM), a high resolution field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) in addition to the peripheral preparation equipment.

The ZEIM team cooperates with the customer to establish a tailored preparation protocol and imaging technique/s to ensure that the best methodology is applied for each project.  For that purposes ZEIM has a portfolio of different methods available for preparing biological or material samples for light and electron microscopy.

Besides classical fluorescence labeling studies, double immuno labeling for discriminating between extracellular and intracellular bacteria is offered. The facility provides support and assistance for imaging with a fluorescence or confocal microscope. In addition, customers are trained to perform imaging by themselves.

Furthermore, ZEIM offers to perform infection experiments with pathogenic bacteria on cell lines with subsequent preparation of samples and labeling for imaging followed by analysis for publications. ZEIM has acquired a strong expertise in preparing biological samples. Besides negative-staining for bacteria, bacteriophages or vesicles, representing a rather fast method in EM, a portfolio of different embedding schemes are available. This includes low temperature embedding and high pressure freezing with freeze substitution for TEM and subsequent analysis of samples in ultrathin sections.

For high resolution FESEM studies standard protocols have been established which should result in a first satisfying preparation of samples to be investigated. For special experiments, new preparation methods will be customized and established. ZEIM has also experience in performing immuno cytochemical stainings for detecting pathogenicity factors with the help of antibodies and gold nanoparticles in eukaryotic cells or bacteria. These experiments can be carried out on ultrathin sections or gold nanoparticles are detected on the surface by FESEM. Another field of research is our experience in the morphological description of newly isolated bacteria or bacteriophages.

Equipment for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

  • Transmission electron microscope Zeiss Libra120 Plus EFTEM
  • Transmission electron microscope Zeiss TEM910
  • Ultramicrotome Reichert Ultracut S, 2x
  • High Pressure Freezer Leica EM-Pact 1
  • Freeze substitution Leica EM AFS, Reichert-Jung CS Auto
  • Coating Unit Bal-Tec MED 020

    Equipment for Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM)

    • Field emission scanning electron microscope Zeiss Merlin with Atlas, STEM Detector, EsB-Detector for material contrast, Shuttle&Find for CLEM (correlative light- and electron microscopy), Oxford EDX Aztec with X-Max Detector
    • Critical-Point Drying Leica EM  CPD 300CPD, Bal-Tec CPD 030
    • Sputter Coater Bal-Tec SCD 500

    Equipment for Fluorescence Microscopy

    • Zeiss Axio Imager A2
    • Zeiss Axio Imager A1
    • Zeiss Imager Z2
    • Zeiss Axiovert 100
    • Leica Sp5 confocal microscope with DM6000 CS upright
    • Leica SP5 inverse confocal  microscope
    • Zeiss Axiovert 200M
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