UCD Home | About UCD | UCD News & Events | Virtual Tour | Contact UCD | Staff Directories | UCD Sitemap | UCD Connect

New technology for Imaging Core

The Imaging Core at UCD Conway Institute recently obtained a high pressure freezer, the first in Ireland.

High pressure freezing (HPF) technology allows for rapid fixation of biological samples for electron microscopy (EM), providing superior ultrastructural preservation compared with standard chemical fixation methods.

The main advantage of HPF is almost instant (ca. 10 microsecond) fixation, allowing the living object to maintain its physiological ultrastructure. In comparison, chemical (aldehyde) fixation takes from 10 second for a cell monolayer to many minutes for a tissue block.

HPF prevents ice crystal formation, a technical issue that can hamper visual results. It also prevents the free diffusion of chemical fixatives and is the gold standard fixation method for immuno-EM analyses.

Many different samples can be fixed by HPF including cultured cells, tissue biopsies and whole organisms. In the standard workflow, freezing is followed by cryo-substitution into resin, sectioning at room temperature and imaging by transmission electron microscope. 

A number of HPF-based projects, including immuno-EM are now established in the facility and results to dater have been very encouraging.

Any researcher with an EM project that would benefit from HPF fixation, contact Dr Dimitri Scholz [E: dimitri.scholz@ucd.ie]


YouTube LinkedIn Twitter Image Map