Automated Cryogenic Electron Microscopy (CryoEM)

Center for Automated Cryogenic Electron Microscopy

The Center for Automated Cryogenic Electron Microscopy (CryoEM Lab, for short) in MIT.nano enables automated electron imaging of cryogenically preserved specimens. Instrumentation in the Facility is used by the MIT research community and external users to visualize the three-dimensional morphology of cellular components and structural details of macromolecules, organic nanoparticles, and other thin materials that are hydrated or sensitive to beam damage.

The Facility includes two cryoTEMs, a cryoFIB/SEM, and laboratory space for cryo-specimen preparation.

Coupled with other emerging imaging and characterization tools, the cryo-EM instruments provide synergy across many research areas within MIT.nano and beyond.


The facility was established in 2018 with support from The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, an Anonymous donor, as well as institutional support from the Vice President for Research, School of Science, and Departments of Biology, Material Science, and Chemistry. To ensure continued support, publications resulting from our CryoEM resources must acknowledge the Facility. Users of the Arctica must recognize this cryoTEM as a gift of the Beckman Foundation.

Access notes for Automated Cryogenic Electron Microscopy Facility

1. For each new sample you bring to the facility, please register your project/material in a project database via the MIT.nano CryoEM sample registration form. Please notice to register multiple samples you will need to fill the form more than once.

2. Please make sure to login MUMMS and add Cryo-EM as a service to your account to allow the allocation of the appropriate safety requirements to your account.

3. To request time on our Talos Arctica, Titan Krios, Aquilos and/or BioPrep Laboratory please submit a session request form and contact the staff member listed on the instrument page to coordinate your microscope time or training sessions.

To receive updates on the Facility and other CryoEM activities (seminars, symposiums) at MIT and the region, please subscribe to our email list

To informally keep up with progress at the facility, follow us on Twitter @MITcryoEM 

Potential external approvals

If applicable, researchers are responsible for acquiring the appropriate approvals through:

  • The Committee on Assessment of Biohazards and Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (CAB/ESCRO);
  • The Committee on Animal Care (CAC);
  • And/or the Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COUHES).

External user samples may require registration on MIT.nano's Biological Research Registration in order to meet Institute requirements for research involving biological materials on campus. Register using the links below and MIT.nano's technical staff will follow up if required.