Biological Electron Microscopy Facility

Using electron microscopes to explore the biological world.

3d reconstruction of a dendrite showing spines and their synapses (in red). This work was done as part of a project carried out for Sami El Boustani (University of Geneva), and published in Science in 2018.

The BioEM Facility is a laboratory specialising in the preparation and imaging of all types of biological samples using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The laboratories are part of the School of Life Sciences, and located in the AI building. For any enquiries about sample preparation, imaging, and training please contact any of the BioEM staff.

Latest news

Block face scanning EM in bladder infection

The group of John McKinney used the Block face scanning EM technique to visualize the infection of a bladder with Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). This technique reveals that solitary bacteria can be found throughout the bladder wall and may be intracellular or pericellular (sandwiched between uroepithelial cells). The study can be viewed here.

Movie: 3D reconstruction of the infected bladder

TEM and Block face scanning EM to analyse the effect of synaptic develpment in absence of regulated vesicular release.

The group of Zoltan Molnar from the university of Oxford explore the effect of the absence of  regulated vesicular release on the synapse morphogenesis and maturation in regions that receive large and powerful cortical inputs such as in the thalamus.  This question was explored using 3D electron microscopy and immunoelectron microscopy analyses in the large, complex synpases formed between cortical sensory efferent axons and dendrites in the posterior thalamic nucleus. the study can be viewed here.


Graham Knott, office AI0143
tel: +41 21 6931862