Electron Tomography Core Facility

To understand the life processes it is necessary to know where the specific macromolecules are located within a cell and tissue and how the macromolecules interact with each other. Electron tomography permits subcellular and macromolecular assemblies to be studied in three dimensions; the molecular objects are reconstructed in three dimensions from a series of electron micrographs representing different projections of the objects.

The possibility to directly image individual biochemically isolated molecular objects provides information on how the various molecules/assemblies change their conformation (dynamics) and how they bind to each other. As the molecular complexes can also be visualized as they appear within the cell, it is possible to determine where they are located and how the macromolecules interact with each other.

The method is technically advanced and requires both expert competence and expensive, sophisticated equipment, and the studies have to be carried out with the support of an electron tomography facility.

Welcome to the Core Facility for Electron Tomography at KI!

Can we help you with your research?

Instruments available

  • Transmission electron microscope CM200 equipped with a cooled slow scan 2048x2048 TemCam- F214 CCD camera (pixel size 24 µm) and software for automated data collection (TVIPS, Gauting, Germany)
  • Transmission electron microscope CM120 equipped with a side-entry CCD Olympus MageView III
  • High pressure freezer EMPACT2 (Leica)
  • Equipment for freeze substitution AFS
  • Carbon coater
  • Glow-discharge unit
  • Ultramicrotome
  • Cryo-ultramicrotome

Service offered

  • Preparation of cryo-specimens
  • Preparation of negatively stained specimens
  • Teaching to operate TEM for independent data collection
  • Acquisition of 2D-images
  • Acquisition of tilt-series for electron tomography
  • Reconstruction of tomography data

Teaching and training

We give a course in “Basic transmission electron microscopy in cell biology” (approximately once every second year). Organizers: Prof. Oleg Shupliakov and Dr. Sergej Masich.

For those who want to use our microscopes or other equipment for independent data collection, we provide individual introductory or advanced training

Prices for service (SEK/hour)

  Karolinska Institutet Other universities Industry
CM120 microscopy 500 600 800
CM200 microscopy 600 700 1000
Expert support 500 600 750

Selected publications

Recently published studies conducted with the support of the Electron Tomography Facility at KI:

DNA rendering of polyhedral meshes at the nanoscale.
Benson E, Mohammed A, Gardell J, Masich S, Czeizler E, Orponen P, et al
Nature 2015 Jul;523(7561):441-4

Skin Lamellar Bodies are not Discrete Vesicles but Part of a Tubuloreticular Network.
den Hollander L, Han H, de Winter M, Svensson L, Masich S, Daneholt B, et al
Acta Derm. Venereol. 2016 Mar;96(3):303-8

The central element of the synaptonemal complex in mice is organized as a bilayered junction structure.
Hernández-Hernández A, Masich S, Fukuda T, Kouznetsova A, Sandin S, Daneholt B, et al
J. Cell. Sci. 2016 Jun;129(11):2239-49

More reading

Tutorials in Transmission Electron Microscopy
–  website by Prof. John Rodenburg, University of Sheffield

Electron tomography of molecules and cells, Baumeister W, Grimm R and Walz J, Tends in Cell Biology (1999) 9, 81-85

Electron Cryotomography, Murphy GE and Jensen GJ, BioTechniques (2007) Vol. 43 No. 4

Organisation, location and support

The Electron Tomography Facility is supported by Karolinska Institutet and the Stockholm County Council, through the Joint Core-Facility Committee. The facility is currently located at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, von Eulers väg 1, KI Campus Solna.

Head of facility: Prof. em. Bertil Daneholt, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, KI

Manager: Dr. Sergej Masich, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, KI

Advisory committee:
Prof. em. Bertil Daneholt (convener)
Assoc. prof. Björn Högberg, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, KI
Prof. Oleg Shupliakov, Department of Neuroscience, KI
Prof. Mats Wahlgren, Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, KI
Assoc. prof. Ozan Öktem, Department of Mathematics, KTH.

Contact us

PhD, Senior lab manager

Sergej Masich

Phone: +46 (0)8-524 87361
E-mail: Sergej.Masich@ki.se
Address: CMB, von Eulers väg 1
SE17177 Stockholm, Sweden

Core facilityImagingMicroscopy