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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Electron Microscopy - Policies

Workload priority

  • Diagnostic samples will take priority over research samples.
  • Every effort will be made to complete research projects in a timely fashion. Unforeseen problems or clinical samples may delay research results.
  • A stat clinical sample may necessitate rescheduling research microscopy time.

Digital image retention

Images captured for research can be taken away by USB drive or burned to a CD. If your lab is within our IT complex it may be possible to map directly to your desk-top computer. Images may remain on the hard drive of any given instrument for one month after capture. Lab staff will delete any images remaining in files after one month.

“No Shows” and reservation cancellation

Once a reservation has been made for an instrument, you are expected to show up within 30 minutes of the reserved time. We use the term “no show” if no one arrives. You will be billed for half of the time you have reserved. Your time can be given away if there is another user waiting. A reservation can be cancelled before or within the first 30 minutes of the reserved time. Call or email to cancel. Good excuses are also excepted if you are a “no show”.

Acknowledgments and co-authorship

Any work done on lab instrumentation or with assistance by lab staff should be, as a minimum, acknowledged in published work. If the contribution to the publication is deemed to be 10% or more, then there is an expectation of co-authorship for the lab staff member who supplied the work. (Yes, we do get paid for the work but so do other authors on publications.)

Correct billing number

It is the responsibility of the research user to supply a current and valid recharge or DAFIS account number when a sample is submitted for processing or when a new billing card is filled out. If an incorrect number is supplied, a $20 fee will be billed for the discovery time required for our staff to find a valid number.

Diamond knife policy

Any transmission electron microscopy preparations that require thin sectioning will be assumed to be of a soft tissue or soft substance. If any damage is done to a diamond knife, due to hard substances within the sample, the investigator will be responsible for re-sharpening (~$550/mm) the damaged portion of the diamond knife edge. Damage is not normal wear. Normal wear is calculated into the recharge cost for cutting thin sections. Damage is defined as extraordinary and renders the diamond cutting edge unusable. If an investigator suspects the presence of a hard substance, notice must be given by the investigator at the time of sample submission. A glass knife can be used to cut thick sections of most samples and a sectioning assessment can be done if there is a suspicion of hard substance.

Reservation guidelines

Our instruments are often fully booked. Consideration must be given to other users. We allow a maximum reserved block of time of 4 hours either in the morning or afternoon for any single session. 2 hour blocks are available from 8-10, 10-12, 1-3, and 3-5. Lab staff can not be assumed to be available 12-1. Only proven user may operate instruments during the lunch hour. Proven users may have after-hours access to instruments with prior permission.

Instrumentation use and training

Training by our lab staff is required for use of our instrumentation. If a new user of the facility has previous experience or training on the same or similar models, they will still have to have a training session given by one of our staff. A training session, may be shortened due to the level of experience.