BSL-2 Laboratory

Our lab operates two Biosafety-Level-2 laboratories, one for bacterial and fibril work, and one for mamalian cell culture work. These allow us to work under a controlled environment and with secured access control on fibrils involved in neurodegenerative diseases.

We are also equipped to prepare cryo-EM specimens in a BSL-2 environment.

Plunge Freezers

We operate a TFS Vitrobot and a Leica GP2 grid plunger. These robotic devices allow to prepare plunge-frozen, vitrified cryo-EM grids from 3 microliters of sample per grid. These routine instruments provide a reliable platform for preparing vitrified specimens for structural analysis by cryo-EM. However, the sample requirements of 3 microliters per grid are high. The sample needs to be at about 1 mg/ml concentration to reach a suitable particle density on the grids.

Light Microscopes

We also operate several light microscopes, including a Leica Thunder instrument, which allows to rapidly record fluorescent images at conventional light microscopy resolution (about 200nm at best), using the Thunder algorithm. This algorithm translates recorded images into a "Gauss-Blob Space", in which the image is decomposed into a superposition of Gaussian blobs, each at a specific X/Y position and of a certain diameter, brightness and color. The algorithm then allows to synthesize a new output image from that information, by only considering data from Gauss blobs of a certain diameter. The resulting images then give a much cleaner impression. This algorithm allows to reconstruct images from a thicker sample by only showing fluorophores in a certain depth of the sample (i.e., Gauss blob diameter). The effect is similar to that of a confocal light microscope, but is obtained much faster.

We also operate a Leica Laser Dissection light microscope, which allows to cut precisely shaped fractions from samples, which can later be used for further sample processing towards imaging by electron microscopy.


Our lab operates several Linux multi-GPU computers for image processing of recorded cryo-EM data. These computers are needed for on-the-fly processing of recorded data, including Ptychography data.

We also operate Linux disk storage systems, totaling 1.5PB capacity.