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Electron Microscopy Services and Referrals

We perform both transmission and scanning electron microscopy on a range of samples that include, but are not exclusive to:

  • renals
  • muscle
  • nerve
  • skin
  • blood
  • hair
  • samples from tumours and non-neoplastic diseases.

We also offer a private histology service for dermatopathology samples.

Referral Guidelines

We offer full technical support ranging from processing samples, analysing and digital photography, to supplying written reports for both internal and external work.

Pricing Guidelines

As an example, a single renal specimen is charged at £200. This includes processing, imaging and a morphological report. However, this price will reduce if multiple specimens are sent or with the signing of a long term agreement. Please contact us for further information.

Sending a Sample

Good fixation is vital for electron microscopy. A number of factors affect the quality of fixation including pH, temperature, osmolarity, fixation time, and sample size.

For the best preservation of ultrastructure, samples should be kept to approximately 1-2mm in size and ideally fixed in 2.5% glutaraldehyde in phosphate buffer ( pH 7 ). If this is not possible then please fix in neutral buffered formalin. 

Please state if this is the case on the request form.
For more information about individual specimen preparation please see our guidance on sending samples safely.

The specimen should be sent to the unit along with a referral form with all relevant information.
It is vital that all patient details / a good clinical history is provided along with the specimen, as inadequate information will result in a delay in the turn-around time of the specimen.

If sending a sample internally, specimen pots and glutaraldehyde fixative are available from the Electron Microscopy Unit, located on the first floor B link corridor, room No.71 - Medical Microscopy, next to the Pathology seminar rooms.

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