A Christmas List for Santa
Last year I blogged about the importance of sample prep kit, so I thought you might enjoy this, it was something I dreamt up just before Christmas:
Dear Santa, I know you're very busy this season, but I'm writing to ask if you could bring some of the best sample preparation kit to my friends in the microscopy community. This year I'd like the following:
At the top of my list is something I could never afford myself - a high pressure freezer such as the HPM 010 or the EM PACT2. The ability to freeze up to 200 microns without ice crystal damage would make a difference to so many of my friends in the life science community. In case I want to collaborate with my friends in optical microscopy the rapid transfer system on the EM PACT2 would allow freezing of samples within 5 seconds of observing the sample on an optical microscope, to aid correlative microscopy projects. If you can't fit either of those on the sleigh, (they’re pretty large, I know...) maybe you could bring a self pressuring freezer so we can freeze in copper sample tubes. If the samples are viruses or proteins a plunge freezer like a Cryoplunge3 or Vitrobot would allow thin film plunging for Cryo-TEM and for ultimate flexibility the CPC would allow both plunge and metal mirror freezing for versatility of sample type.
Once I've frozen my samples we'll need a freeze substitution unit, something like an AFS 2 or the FS-8500 so that the samples can be low temperature resin embedded and stained with Uranyl Acetate and or Osmium Tetroxide for contract in the electron microscope.
Of course having prepared the samples, an ultra microtome such as a Powertome or Ultracut-7 would be great. If you could throw in a cryo-box, we can section the HPF samples at cryogenic temperatures using CEMOVIS or if not Tokyasu section once they’ve been resin embedded . Please don't forget the glass and diamond knives as I'll want to experiment cutting biological and materials samples. Santa, I'll also need a Glass knife maker, like the GKM or KMR3 as I'll need to make more knives.
Just in case the samples are larger and the area of interest is buried deep within the sample, we would need a EM TRIM 2 so that we can cut and grind using a Disk Grinder or a Dimpling Grinder 200) the samples and an Ion milling instrument such as TIC 3X , ASaP or PIPS II.
Finally, once I have the samples ready to go in the microscope, I'd love to make sure they’re free from atmospheric contamination, so a UV or plasma cleaner such as the new Zone cleaner (SEM and TEM) or the Solarus would be the perfect boost as we strive for the best resolution possible.
I know you won’t be able to give us everything, but I know even one of these will be very greatly appreciated by my friends and me.
Love as always, Chris