In order to accommodate a large number of samples from different laboratories, the following guidelines must be followed. Speak with a member of the facility to plan your experiment. Speak to Pat Kysar. Please correspond by email or call one of us before you bring samples for processing.

Please notify a staff member that you will be arriving late to make arrangements. We know that sometimes it is necessary to require a rush on a project. The EM staff members work diligently to produce results in a timely fashion. In the event that a project is requested “rush”, the request will be reviewed however, not necessarily granted. The staff will determine if a rush can be performed without compromising other researchers projects. If a “rush” is granted a charge will apply.

If your project requires a confidentiality agreement, a hard copy must be sent to the ICBR EM laboratory prior to submitting samples. Please contact a lab Staff member to make arrangements.

Workload Priority:

  • Every effort will be made to complete research projects in a timely fashion.
  • Unforeseen problems and heavy workload may delay research results.

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.

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. No individual may use any equipment unassisted without first being checked out by a member of the UCD Tupper Hall EM staff. Under no circumstance shall a user train or instruct another user regardless of their experience. Everyone must be evaluated and checked out by the EM staff member prior to working unassisted. Users may not change default settings on any machine. Users caught doing so may be billed for any time necessary to correct the problem and may be banned from future use of the equipment. It is essential that the next user be able to use the equipment after you are finished. When finished, equipment should be left clean and in standard configuration. Please notify a staff member if there is anything wrong with a piece of equipment.

Signup Policy: Users who have been checked by an EM staff member may work unassisted.. Note: Plan ahead. The equipment calendar fills quickly and the date and time you want may not be available. We allow unassisted usage of the EM equipment, however... No individual may use any equipment unassisted until checked out by Staff. There are no exceptions to these rules. People who need to work with staff may sign up with the staff member(s) on a first-come first-served basis. Please email or call to arrange a time to meet with a staff member. However, in the interest of assuring that the EM facility continues to operate, if an emergency service, maintenance or administrative issue arises, the staff may need to cancel and reschedule. Sign up times are strict. If another user is scheduled after your appointment, you are expected to vacate the equipment promptly at the end of your scheduled time.

“No Shows” and Reservation cancellation: Once a reservation has been made for an instrument, you are expected to show up within 30min 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 30min of the reserved time. Call or email to cancel. Good excuses are also excepted if you are a “no show”.

Exceptions: Many people use the lab and its’ equipment. The EM Lab staff members want to ensure that everyone has a chance to use the equipment and get their results as promptly and efficiently as possible. So we ask that no user may book more than 4 hours in any one day. Without first obtaining permission. If equipment breaks, appointments will be canceled and rescheduled.

Access to Facility when we are closed: Any user who has a need to work after hours may ask Staff for permission to obtain access keys. Note: not everyone is granted the right to work after hours. You must sign out the keys from the EM Lab Staff. If a key is lost, the user must report the lost key immediately to an EM staff member. DO NOT LET ANYBODY ELSE IN AND LEAVE YOUR FRIENDS AT HOME.

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.