Reducing Cutting Artifacts During Cryo-sectioning (Brandeis University)
The Nicastro Lab at Brandeis University is studying the 3D structure of cells and macromolecules in their native state. High-resolution imaging of sections of life-like, preserved cells via electron microscopy is currently difficult, if not impossible, because current sample preparation methods result in numerous cutting artifacts that distort the sample. The Olin SCOPE team developed a prototype device to manipulate specimens at cryogenic temperatures in order to reduce cutting artifacts. Crucial challenges for the team included high-precision machine design, extreme temperatures and highly localized temperature control. This work was primarily supported through a MRSEC grant from the National Science Foundation.