Sectioning Equipment

The BIF has equipment to cut thick samples using a vibratome or ultra-thin sections with ultramicrotomes. Ultramicrotomy is a method for slicing specimens into extremely thin slices, called ultra-thin sections (usually >100nm thick), that can be studied and documented in a transmission electron microscope (TEM). It is commonly used for biological specimens, but sections of plastics and soft metals can also be prepared.

Leica VT1000S Vibratome

Capabilities:
- Vibrating blade microtome
- Produces thick sections (> 5 m) of fixed or fresh tissue without freezing or embedding in resin for light microscopy

Cost:
BIF members: $39.60/run, Academic users: $66/run

Specifications:
The frequency can be adjusted from 0 – 100 Hz
The amplitude can be adjusted from 0.2 – 1 mm in 5 mm increments
Knife advance speed is adjustable from 0.025 to 2.5 mm/sec
The section window and specimen retraction mechanisms are programmable
Samples are usually embedded in agar or gelatin for support

Ultramicrotomes

Three ultramicrotomes are available in the BIF for cutting semi-thin and ultra-thin sections (<100nm) of resin embedded material for light microscopy and TEM.





























Cost:
Microtome: BIF members: $15.84/h, Academic users: $26.40/h
Cryo-ultramicrotomy: BIF members: $165/day, Academic users: $275/day
Leica UC7 with FC7 cryo-chamber

- Ultramicrotome
- Cryo-ultramicrotome for cutting frozen samples for the Tokuyasu technique for immunolabelling, and for high-pressure frozen samples for cryo-electron microscopy for vitreous sections. FC7 cryo-chamber maintains the temperatures as low as -160C.

Leica Ultracut T with FCS cryo-chamber

-Ultramicrotome
-Cryo-ultramicrotome

Reichert Ultracut E

-Ultramicrotome

Leica EM KMR2 Glass Knife breaker

The Leica EM KMR2 glass knifemaker produces 45 glass knives from 6.4, 8 and 10 mm thick glass utilizing the balanced-break method.

Cost:
Glass knifemaker including 1 strip of glass: BIF members: $13.20/each, Academic users: $20/each