Developed in collaboration with Prof. Bram Koster's team at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in the Netherlands, the CMS196 is the result of 3 years of R&D.
“The correlative stage was developed out of the necessity for a tool that uses fluorescence microscopy to help localize structures of interest in samples for high resolution cryo electron microscopy imaging. Over the years the system has evolved into an effective and efficient instrument that enables the imaging of cryo electron microscope images after light microscopy characterization routinely.” Prof. A.J. Koster - LUMC
Although the CMS196 was designed specifically to solve the problem of how to get vitrified EM grids from the fluorescent microscope into the cryo TEM without devitrification and contamination through condensation, the stage also had to be optimized optically to enable the use of high NA lenses.
Up to 3 grids are loaded into a specially designed cassette which is transported from your plunge freezer in a small sealed container. The container is loaded into a precooled dry sample loading chamber fitted on your upright fluorescent microscope. The cassette is then easily loaded onto the viewing bridge using special manipulation tools.
The sample viewing chamber is perfectly dry and below -180C. The sample bridge itself is at -196C. The grids can be quickly and efficiently scanned using a 100X 0.75NA lens and manipulated using high precision micrometers.
The cassette is then simply manipulated back into the transportation device and is then transported to the cryo TEM under liquid nitrogen.
"We are using the cryo-correlative stage to screen cells trapped in a thin layer of ice prior to imaging the samples at synchrotrons in Oxford, Barcelona and Berlin. The team at Linkam Scientific have helped to drive forward our research, quickly adapting and refining the technology to deliver an elegant, flexible, user-friendly stage." Dr. Lucy Collinson - Head of Electron Microscopy, London Research Institute
The CMS196 has been tested extensively at several key laboratories around the world and is now available in beta form.