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Structural Biology Facilities at the Department of Biochemistry


Welcome to the BiocEM Cryo-EM Facility at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge.

We provide access to cryo-electron microscopes, training, support and scientific guidance for academic and industrial users wishing to perform Cryo-EM experiments.

The Cryo-EM Facility is located on level 00 of the Sanger Building.

The facility is part of a larger collection of service and research facilities in the Department of Biochemistry.



Cryo-EM Facility operating procedures during COVID-19 pandemic 

1. Only two people at any time will be allowed to work in the whole Cryo-EM area at Department of Biochemistry. 
2. A safe distance of 2 meters between individuals must be maintained at all times.
3. No visitors (this includes collaborators) will be allowed access to the department, only departmental members or students (except for special cases, contact Facility Manager for more information).
4. Users are required to read the COVID-19 Risk Assessment for the Cryo-EM area and follow the designated operating procedures. 

5. All communications with facility staff via electronic means only.

1. Both Titan Krios and Talos Arctica microscopes are available.
2. Users may book microscopes themselves. But all bookings must have tentative status.
3. All bookings can be amended by the Facility staff if necessary without prior warning.
4. Talos Arctica - only 10 grids to be loaded into the microscope per day.
5. Titan Krios - only 5 grids to be loaded into microscope per day.
6. Users are not to be present during the beamtime session (except for special cases, contact Facility Manager for more information)).
7. Multiple dataset collections during a 1-day session may not be possible.
8. External users: contact the facility manager at least 3 days before the beamtime for instruction, i.e. how to deliver the grids to the facility, which grids to load. Failure to do so, may result in your booking being cancelled without refund of charges.
9. All interactive sessions must be finished by 4:00pm.

1. Only Vitrobot 1 is available. Location - room 00.07 (i.e. Talos Arctica room). The glow discharger is also located in this room. 
2. A new procedure for condensing the ethane safely is now in place (download here).
3. Only users from Department of Biochemistry are allowed to use the instrument (except for specially designated superusers).
4. One user per session, no onlookers (unless agreed with Facility manager).
5. The default session duration is 2 hours. However, the actual use time is only 1 hour 45 minutes. The last 15 minutes of the session are left to ensure there is no overlap. Please plan and book accordingly.
6. The first session of the day is at 10am, the last is at 8pm.
7. All surfaces and equipment must be cleaned after use with 70% ethanol (spray bottle and tissue are provided). Follow the procedures available for each instrument. 
8. Use your own pipettes, pipette tips, pens or consumables.
10. Wear clean gloves and lab coat when working in the facility.
11. If you require grids storage buttons/tubes, contact facility staff. Do so ahead of the session.

All training sessions are suspended until further notice.