Expanding the Limits of Electron Microscopy Sample Preparation with the Leica EM ICE High Pressure Freezer

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Dr. Julia König

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Dr. Frédéric Leroux

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In this tutorial you will learn:

  • Improved vitrification: Specimen vitrification without synchronisation fluid
  • Vitrification strategies: Optimized freezing for different techniques
  • Light and electrical stimulation: Dissect cellular processes with millisecond precision
  • A look into the future: freezing of crystals

Tutorial abstract

Plunge freezing and cryo imaging of proteins and complexes have revealed new details in understanding the machinery of the cell and how molecules are involved in cellular processes. However, most eukaryotic cells and tissue samples cannot be plunge frozen because of the rapid decay of the cooling rate within the sample during freezing. High pressure freezing, on the other hand, is currently the main approach to vitrify larger samples (up to 200 µm) and to capture the intrinsic changes in fine structure or cellular dynamics. To further improve its cryo solutions, Leica developed a new cryo platform: the EM ICE. This new generation cryo platform combines speed, reliability and flexibility to facilitate research in various scientific fields.

The EM ICE allows users to freeze samples within milliseconds and even permits the combination of high pressure freezing with optogenetics and electrophysiology.

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