Division of Biology and Medicine
BioMed Core Facilities

Thermo Apreo VS SEM for serial block-face imaging

Equipped for standard scanning electron microscopy as well as serial-block face imaging.


Apreo VS SEM

The Apreo Volume Scope (VS) is equipped for standard scanning electron microscopy, as well as serial-block face imaging.  For serial block face imaging, ultrathin sections are cut inside the microscope and series of images are acquired from the freshly cut block face, while the sections are discarded.  The automated system is capable of imaging large z-stacks at isotropic 10x10x10 nm resolution.  The series of images can be processed for 3D reconstruction of cells and tissues, with sufficient resolution to identify small vesicles, organelles and neural connections. 

Samples for serial block-face imaging need to be processed using an enhanced contrast staining method.  Please contact the Molecular Pathology Core for assistance. Protocols are available on the Molecular Pathology Core website.

Acknowledgement Requirements

* Please acknowledge NIH support.  E.g. in publications that made use of the SEM:  The Thermo Apreo VS SEM was purchased with a high-end instrumentation grant from the Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health (S10OD023461). 



Amira software is available for stack alignment, 3D reconstruction and 3D segmentation (free of charge).  The full Amira for EM package is available on a high-end workstation in Sidney Frank Hall, room 106.  This version includes modules for analyses of large EM stacks. 

 Amira Online.  You can also install and run Amira basic on your own computer (2 floating licenses):

To use Amira Online, you need to sign up on our Amira calendar.  For access to this calendar, please email Geoffrey Williams or Robbert Creton.


To request assistance in sample preparation (e.g. fixation, mounting, sectioning, staining, immunolabeling) and imaging, please contact the Molecular Pathology Core.

The Molecular Pathology Facility provides all-inclusive histology and histopathology services, equipment and training. The core houses an automated tissue processor, a paraffin embedding center, automated microtomes, a cryostat, a vibratome and a multiheaded light microscope.


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