Sunday Short Courses

Organizer: Mike Marko

  • These full-day courses run from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday, July 29.
  • A certificate of participation will be issued to each participant.
  • Two Continuing Microscopy Education Units are available (registration fee $10).
  • Morning and afternoon coffee breaks are included.
  • Lunch is on your own; onsite vendors will be open.

Course fees:
$175 — Member, early registration
$265 — Member, regular
$209 — Non-member, early registration
$289 — Non-member, regular


X-10 Cryo-preparation for Biological EM
Kent McDonald
In this course, we will briefly review why cryo-techniques for specimen preparation are superior to conventional methods. We will discuss some low-cost-alternative cryo-methods, as well as demonstrate some of the latest equipment and techniques for high pressure freezing, plunge freezing, cryosectioning, cryoSEM, and freeze fracturing. The Tokuyasu method for immunolabeling will also be covered briefly. Persons taking this course should leave with a better understanding of these cryotechniques and their role in different applications such as EM tomography, vitreous cryosectioning, and EM immunolabeling, as well as their routine use for the best available preservation of cellular fine structure

X-11 Immunolabeling Technology for Light and Electron Microscopy
Caroline Miller
The requirements for successful immunohistochemical and immunocytochemical labeling vary widely with different biological systems. The optimal techniques for light-microscope labeling often differ greatly from those needed for electron microscopy. The basics of immunolabeling at the light and electron microscope levels will be presented, illustrated with examples from several different biological systems. Some of the more complex methods and applications used in electron microscopy will be discussed in depth. The course will cover specimen preparation, immunogold labeling and enhancement methods, multiple labeling and correlative LM/EM techniques.

X12 3D Electron Microscopy of Macromolecular Assemblies
Teresa Ruiz, Michael Radermacher and Edward Morris
This short course will provide a comprehensive description of the methods used for 3D structure determination from electron micrographs of macromolecular complexes or weakly scattering specimens available in multiple copies. Specimen preparation techniques for single particles (deep stain, vitreous ice) will be presented, followed by selection of optimal imaging conditions, including low-dose imaging. Next, a detailed explanation of image processing techniques, with special emphasis on the random-conical reconstruction technique, will be presented. Finally, structure interpretation and docking of X-ray structures to 3D EM densities will be demonstrated. The techniques described could be applied to both biological and materials science specimens.


X-13 Electron Tomography in Life and Material Sciences
Ilke Arslan and Montserrat Barcena
This short course will explain the basics of electron tomography, the experimental setups, and the instrumental prerequisites, illustrated by application examples. Bright-field, energy-filtered, and STEM tomographic methods will be discussed, emphasizing high resolution for materials applications, and low-dose cryo imaging for biological applications. A variety of reconstruction algorithms will be covered, as well as a survey of 3-D analysis and visualization methods. We intend the course to be of interest to both beginners and already-experienced users of electron tomography.

X-14 Imaging and Analysis with Variable Pressure or Environmental SEM
Brendan J. Griffin and Matthew Phillips
This short course aims to take the challenge out of imaging in variable pressure SEM mode. We will sequentially address VPSEM column components and operation, electron (SE and BSE), light (CL) imaging and x-ray analysis strategies and detectors for both biological and materials samples. Procedures for monitoring instrument performance and optimizing image quality will then be presented. Examples of the novel charge-related contrasts available in VPSEM will also be discussed. The appropriate use of hot, cool and cold stages is included. The course will conclude with invited manufacturer presentations on new developments and a final lecture comparing VPSEM with conventional SEM. Lecture pdfs will be available online.

X-15 Scientific Digital Imaging: Ethics and Execution
John Mackenzie
There is a need for standardization in scientific digital imaging in order to ensure proper ethical manipulation. The course will include a recently prepared Handbook for Scientific Digital Imaging. This handbook presents a standardized workflow with relevant theory to help kick-start the standardization discussion. Topics covered include: The proper optimization of digital images; preparation of images for Powerpoint, posters, and publication including newer enhanced on-line versions; selection of the top-rated and most affordable printers, scanners, and software; best practices for archiving scientific digital images. Step by step demonstrations of the best strategy for reproducible image optimization using Photoshop.


X16 Metallography for Failure Analysis
Frauke Hogue
This course is beneficial for anybody involved in metallurgical failure analysis – technician, metallurgist, or engineer. Special, very practical techniques such as making very large mounts, grinding to a specific location, cleaning and replication will be discussed. The most important structures of various alloy groups, failure modes, and manufacturing methods are illustrated. More than two dozen case studies are presented to demonstrate the importance and use of optical metallography in failure analysis.

X-17 Transmission Electron Microscopy of Materials
Alwyn Eades, Michael Kaufman and Bob Field
This course will provide an introduction to the characterization of materials and defects, with particular emphasis on crystalline materials. Transmission electron microscopy is very powerful and can provide highly valuable information about materials. However, much of the current literature focuses on the very newest techniques and overlooks the value of basic methods using standard instruments. It is those basic methods that will be the focus of this course.