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Veterinary Pathology

Electron Microscopy Laboratory

About Electron Microscopy

Electron Microscopy is a service made available through the Department of Pathology and provides select diagnostic services to the veterinary and medical professions. Contact may be made with our experienced pathologists when electron microscopy is necessary for additional diagnostic results.

Electron microscopy and related services are currently available through the Georgia Electron Microscopy Facility, gem@uga.edu , located on campus at 115 D.W. Brooks Drive, Barrow Hall in Rooms 151 - 164. For more information, please contact Pathology’s EM Lab Coordinator, Mary Ard maryard@uga.edu .

Services Offered

A complete range of conventional preparative services are offered, allowing investigators to submit fresh or fixed tissues and receive end results as requested (i.e. pathologist evaluation and/or digital imaging) within a reasonable turnaround time. Services include Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Negative Staining/Negative Contrast, and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). See our fee schedule  for available services and pricing.

Diagnostic Services

Diagnostic services are available through the Department of Pathology and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, in which electron microscopy is essential for correct diagnosis. Diagnostic services are also extended to outside veterinary clinics and other diagnostic facilities requiring electron microscopy.

Research Services

Research in electron microscopy is done for various departments both within the College of Veterinary Medicine and units throughout the UGA campus. EM research is available to surrounding research facilities as well. More information can be found at the Georgia Electron Microscopy facility’s website, https://gem.uga.edu/

Instruction and Training

On-site instruction and training is available to most individuals who would like to utilize the facility for their own research and casework. All instruction and training is done at the Georgia Electron Microscopy Facility.

Submission Process

The submission form is used when submitting samples (see guidelines below) for:

Negative staining for viral confirmation/identification
Tissue processing for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
Tissue processing for Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

EM Submission Form

Forms must be filled out completely and accompany all samples submitted to the Georgia Electron Microscopy Facility.

Sample Submission Guidelines

Negative staining for viral confirmation/ identification

Samples such as veterinary cell culture, fecal material, allantoic fluid, fractionated samples (biosafety level 2 or lower) should be submitted fresh in a closed container or syringe with needle detached or protected. Samples of biosafety level 3 should be inactivated (we prefer paraformaldehyde over UV for inactivation methods) before sending to the GEM Lab. Clinic # or other identification must be written on the container/syringe to match what is on the submission form, or the sample will not be accepted. Tissue samples for negative staining should be submitted fresh, double contained, and the GEM Lab should be notified prior to submission. There are extra charges for concentrating fecal material and homogenizing tissue samples. Preparation and interpretation will take 8–72 hours depending on workload.

Tissue processing for Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)

Samples should be submitted fixed in an approved EM fixative*. Samples should be submitted in pieces no larger than 2mm at any one length. Fixed tissue should be kept refrigerated once collected. Clinic # or other identification must be written on the container as well as the type of fixative used to fix the sample. Processing the fixed tissue into plastic blocks will take 5–7 working days.

* An approved EM fixative contains a 1.5%–3% glutaraldehyde solution in a stable buffer pH 6.8–7.3. It may also contain formaldehyde of up to 4%. Appropriate fixatives are available in the GEM Lab.

Tissue processing for Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Samples should be submitted fixed in an approved EM fixative*. Sample can be up to 1cm (1.5 in) at any one length, but be aware that the ratio of fixative: sample should be 10:1 (v/v). Fixed tissue should be kept refrigerated once collected. Clinic # or other identification must be written on the container as well as the type of fixative used to fix the sample. Processing the fixed tissue for SEM viewing will normally take 3–5 working days.

* An approved EM fixative contains a 1.5%–3% glutaraldehyde solution in a stable buffer pH 6.8–7.3. It may also contain formaldehyde of up to 4%. Appropriate fixatives are available in the GEM Lab.

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