TU/e opens electron microscopy lab and extends cooperation with Thermo Fisher

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Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has opened its new laboratory for electron microscopy today, the Center for Multiscale Electron Microscopy (CMEM). The lab features some of the most advanced microscopes, among which a Glacios CryoTEM from Thermo Fisher Scientific, which allows scientists to see (in)organic materials with near-atomic resolution. At the opening symposium, the university signed a framework agreement with Thermo Fisher to extend the existing cooperation.

The CMEM does not only offer scientists unrivaled resolution - electron microscopes magnify micrometer and nanometer structures by up to ten million times - it also allows fast visualization of complex molecules in their natural environment, which usually is in a vitrified liquid phase. The studied samples are frozen within a millisecond to 183 degrees below zero, after which they can be imaged in their frozen native state, offering scientists a snapshot of the processes taking place at molecular level. Subsequently, the CMEM microscopes and the reconstruction computers create 3D-images. These 3D images are crucial for a better understanding of protein complexes and the way they function.

Researchers will use the new lab to help design, develop and understand new molecules, materials and processes for applications in health, medicine, the energy transition and sustainability. The lab will not only be used by TU/e scientists, but also by academic partners and industrial parties.

At the opening symposium, TU/e and Thermo Fisher signed a framework agreement to extend their existing research cooperation, and to allow for cooperation in all science areas of TU/e. The main objective is to make electron microscopy even better and faster. The partners will exchange knowledge and are planning to develop new life sciences applications, in the context of, for example, protein structure analysis and nanomedicine development. Also, they want to realize higher throughput analyses of nanoparticle topology, which is very important for nanomedicine research.

Robert-Jan Smits, president of the Executive Board of TU/e: “I am very proud of this new top notch facility. It provides our scientists and our partners with access to state-of-the-art electron microscopy, which will boost our research in a wide variety of disciplines. I am grateful for the generous donation of DAF Trucks. Without it, we couldn’t have realized this great new lab. Also, I am very pleased that we are strengthening our research ties with Thermo Fischer Scientific, a Fortune-500 company with a strong R&D presence in the Brainport region. This extended cooperation is in line with our strategy to extend our strong collaboration with industry, and it will provide enormous opportunities for our scientists and for our students.”

Maurits Smits, Sr. Director of Research and Development and Site Manager of the Thermo Fisher facility in Eindhoven: “We are honored to tighten our connections with the leading University of Technology in the region. By formally signing this framework agreement, we enter a new “symbiotic” phase in our relationship in which we can benefit from each other’s core competencies and know-how.”

Please watch the video of the new CMEM lab here.

This article was first published on 30 May by TU/e.

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