Electron microscopy

The Electron Microscopy expertise unit is a multi-user service facility that provides ultra structural services and technology for researchers at the Department of Neurosciences as well as for external research groups or companies.

The mission of the EM expertise unit is to provide biological-biomedical-industrial researchers with state-of-the-art instrumentation, training and services for electron microscopy. Instrument use and technician services are available on a recharge fee basis. We provide complete individual training for scanning and transmission electron microscopy as well as for sample preparation.


Serial Block-Face Electron Microscopy Field Emission ZEISS Sigma Variable pressure with 3View technology from Gatan

Technology for exceptional imaging and analysis. It is possible to examine large sections from different tissues; view imaging is possible with image size of up to 32k by 32k pixels. In combination with 3View ultramicrotome, allows for high resolution, 3D imaging of tissues and even whole organisms, such as Drosophila. In the shortest possible time.

Location: O&N4, 7th floor in room 07.438

JEOL JSM 7200F LV Scanning Electron Microscope

Our new field emission scanning microscope utilizes JEOL proprietary in-lens Schottky Plus technology that allows improvement in the resolution at low accelerating voltages (1.6 nm @ 1 kV), and achieves a maximum probe current of 300 nA.

Location: O&N4, 7th floor in room 07.434

JEOL JEM1400-LaB6 Transmission Electron Microscope 

This TEM is the working horse of the Electron Microscopy Platform. With the large field of view Olympus Quemesa 11Mpx camera it provides high-contrast micrographs of conventionally prepared or high-pressure frozen and freeze-substituted biological specimens.

Location: O&N4, 7th floor in room 07.434

JEOL JEM2100-LaB6 Transmission Electron Microscope

This transmission Electron Microscope can be operated at a range of acceleration voltages of 40-200kV and features and Oxford INCA Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EOS) system and a Gatan Tridiem Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) filter/spectrometer for element mapping and image filtering. Additionally, the instrument is equipped with a tomography recording unit using a 70°/70° goniometer to create 3D-images from its samples and TSEM detectors (bright- and darkfield). Used for cryo- and RT imaging.

Location: O&N1, 6th floor in room 06.654

The SECOM platform from Delmic, NL

The SECOM is a platform that integrates fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy in ons device by equipping a scanning electron microscope (JEOL JSM 7200F LV) with an inverted fluorescence microscope. SECOM is a unique integrated solution for correlative light and electron microscopy that enables to do correlative microscopy extremely fast with the highest optical quality and overlay accuracy.

Location: O&N4, 7th floor in room 07.434

Standard sample preparation

  • Leica/Reichert Ultracut E
  • Leica Ultracut UCT
  • Leica Ultracut EM UC7
  • Leica Ultracut S
  • RMC Powertome PC Ultramicrotome
  • Leica EM ACE 600 High Vacuum Coater
  • Leica EM CPD300 Critical Point Drier
  • Leica EM KMR2 Glass Knife Maker
  • Leica/Reichert Glass Knife Maker
  • Leica IC80 HD Live Video Camera

Location: O&N4 7th floor

Cryo sample preparation

  • Leica EM PACT2 High Pressure Freezer Apparatus
  • Leica EM AFS2 Automatic Freeze substitution system with EM FSP
  • Leica Ultracut EM UC7 with Leica FC7Cryo chamber and Leica Cryo-Spher
  • Leica Cryo chamber for Leica Ultracut UCT
  • EMBO Plunge freezer
  • Leica EM GP2 plunge freezer
  • EDWARDS T-Station 75 - turbo pumping station for Cryo-TEM
  • Fischione 2550 high tilt cryo specimen holder
  • Gatan Transfer Station for 914 High Tilt Cryo Holder
  • Gatan Transfer Station for Cryo Holder
  • Gatan Samrt Set Cold Stage Controller 900

Location: O&N1, 6th floor in room 06.654 and O&N4 in room 07.009


  • HCS analysis
  • 3D software: Imaris, Arivis, Amira (FEI), Dragonfly Pro 2.0 (Zeiss)
  • Digital Micrograph Software (Gatan)
  • IMOD
  • ImageJ/Fiji support
  • TEMography package

Location: O&N4, 7th floor in room 07.404

Meet the team

Natalia Gunko, Head of EM Platform - Expert technologist

Natalia Gunko holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) and worked at the University of California (San Diego, USA), the Scripps Research Institute (USA) and the IMB-IMCB A-STAR (Singapore). Dr. Gunko has been the Head of the Electron Microscopy Platform since 2015.



Pieter Baatsen holds a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA, USA). He has worked at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Brussels, Belgium) and has been staff scientist at the Electron Microscopy Platform since 2008.



Katlijn Vints joined the Electron Microscopy Platform in 2014. In 2013 she graduated from the University of Leuven with a Master's degree in Bioengineering with a specialization in cell and gene technology. Her main expertise is correlative light and electron microscopy, 3D-SEM.



Dorien Vandael graduated from the University of Hasselt and joined the Electron Microscopy Platform in January 2017. She is doing research on molecular and structural changes of brain in stress dependent mental disorders.

The EM team

Terms of use

The primary goal of the electron microscopy staff is to maintain the EM facility, train new investigators and assist facility users in obtaining the best possible results from the available equiment. We can offer advice on the suitability and quality of preparation methods, imaging and analysis.


Please contact the expertise unit to schedule an initial meeting. EM projects can be extensive and expensive. To gain access to the EM equipment, users must meet with us to discuss the scope of the project, how to procure and fix tissues, realistic time-lines, budgetary concerns and other issues which might arise. During this initial meeting, the scientific objectives and experimental details of your project will be discussed. Please bring a short presentation about your project, relevant articles that explain the project and any techniques you may be trying to reproduce. We will work with you to design the EM study and schedule the work.