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UC Enuity Ultramicrotome

Experience the cutting edge of automation and precision


Show answer How does an ultramicrotome differ from a standard microtome?

The key distinction between an ultramicrotome and a standard microtome lies in the thickness of the sections they produce and their respective applications in biological research. While a standard microtome is versatile for generating thicker sections suitable for routine histology and light microscopy, an ultramicrotome is designed specifically to create ultrathin sections, down to the nanometer scale, intended for a range of advanced microscopy techniques such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The ultramicrotome utilizes a glass or diamond knife and requires the specimens to hardened for precision and stability during sectioning. Hardening can be achieved through freezing and/or embedding in resin and is essential for achieving the high-resolution imaging necessary to study intricate subcellular structures in detail. 

Show answer How to transfer sections from ultramicrotome to the grid?

To transfer ultrathin sections from an ultramicrotome to a grid for electron microscopy, the following steps should be followed: 

  1. Prepare grids: ensure your TEM grids are clean, and glow-discharged for hydrophilicity if needed. 
  2. Section collection: allow the ultrathin sections to float on water to ensure they are kept intact. 
  3. Grid placement: gently dip your TEM grid in the water and pick up the sections from below. 
  4. Grid lifting: carefully lift the grid with forceps, ensuring the sections adhere to the grid. 
  5. Examine and store: check sections under a light microscope, and if needed, store the grids appropriately.      
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