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Electron Microscopy Laboratory

The electron microscopy core facility at IMB provides state of the art transmission electron microscopy (TEM) service. Our expertise dates back to 40 years of experience in implementing the use of electron microscopy techniques in biomedical research.

High resolution electron microscopic images showing Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) immunogold labeling in a stroke mouse model

High resolution electron microscopic images showing Aquaporin-4 (AQP4) immunogold labeling in a stroke mouse model. (a) Low AQP4 labelling evenly distributed in all astrocyte (green) membrane domains near a vessel in the infarct core, (b) Strong AQP4 labelling in an astrocyte endfoot surrounding a vessel in the infarct border zone. AQP4 is equally expressed in the membrane domain facing the vessel (arrow) as the one facing the neuropil (arrowhead), (c) Image from an area contralateral to the infarct (healthy tissue) shows strong labelling of AQP4 only in the astrocyte membrane facing the vessel, as it should be. The difference in AQP4 labelling in figure b and c is only detectable with precision and quantitatively with electron microscopic immunogold labelling. Modified from: Banitalebi et al. Disassembly and Mislocalization of AQP4 in Incipient Scar Formation after Experimental Stroke. Int. J. Mol. (2022). doi: 10.3390/ijms23031117

TEM enables detailed knowledge about the molecular localization, structure and morphology of biological material at nanometer scale. We have a long tradition of pre-and postembedding techniques, and our main expertise lies in obtaining excellent ultrastructure along with good quality staining and labelling of biological samples.

With advanced techniques such as immunogold cytochemistry, we are able to localize and quantify molecules within biological samples. For quantification of gold particles, we use a tailor-made software developed in house.

Immunogold electron microscopy of glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST) expressing type A pericytes (green) in the mouse spinal cord.
(a-c) Immunogold electron microscopy of type A pericytes (green) in the mouse spinal cord. In case of injury, these cells migrate from the vessel to the damaged area to participate in the scar formation. The type A pericytes express Red Fluorescence Protein (RFP) in this mouse model. An antibody against RFP followed by a secondary antibody conjugated to gold particles was used to study the cells ultrastructural characteristics. Scale bar: 2 µm (a,c) and 1 µm (b). Reference: Dias et al. Pericyte-derived fibrotic scarring is conserved across diverse central nervous system lesions. Nature Communications 12, 5501 (2021). doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25585-5


The facility operates two TEMs from FEI Company

  • Tecnai G2 Spirit BioTwin
  • Tecnai 12 BioTwin (upgraded to G2)

Both electron microscopes are equipped with a fully motorized computer controlled stage and a side mounted Veleta 2kX2k CCD camera. The camera has iTEM software from Olympus Soft Imaging Solutions for acquiring digital images.

Available specimen holders

  • Standard single tilt holder
  • Double tilt holder
  • Rotation holder
  • Multiple specimen holder
  • Gatan Cryo holder
  • Services and prices

Bashir Hakim, our service engineer, provides user training and assistance as well as full technical maintenance of the microscopes.

Our technical expertise in a vast range of different techniques can be adapted to individual projects. The methods include preparation of biological specimen in different resins such as Lowicryl® HM20, using a new automated freeze substitution system (Leica EM AFS2), and Durcupan. Additionally, we provide ultramicrotome sectioning, immunogold labelling and analysis as well as training in the techniques. For more information about services and prices, see our price list.

Our services are available to researchers at UiO, OUS, and Helse Sør-Øst, as well as external companies and research groups both nationally and internationally.

“We are probably the world’s most frequently cited electron microscope lab in the field of neuroscience”.

Read more in the article They can see the smallest parts of cells


See publications 2017-2022




Head of unit

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam


Visiting Address

Room 0351
Domus Medica
Sognsvannsveien 9
0372 OSLO

Postal address

PB 1105 Blindern
0317 OSLO

Published Feb. 24, 2017 11:08 AM - Last modified Oct. 26, 2022 12:03 PM