Find out how our microtomes provide consistent ultra-thin sections for EM and imaging


Electron microscopy is a type of microscopy that uses a beam of electrons to produce an image of a sample. It is a powerful tool that allows scientists and researchers to visualize and study materials at very high levels of magnification and resolution. Electron microscopes can be used to examine a wide range of samples, including biological specimens, materials in engineering and materials science, and industrial components.

Electron microscopes have several advantages over optical microscopes, which use light to produce an image. Electron microscopes have much higher resolution, which allows them to produce much clearer and more detailed images of smaller samples. They also have a wider range of magnifications, which allows them to image samples at very high levels of magnification. In addition, electron microscopes can be used to study samples that are not transparent to light, such as metals or ceramics. However, electron microscopes are much more complex and expensive than optical microscopes, and they require specialized training to operate.


Tissue sections for electron microscopy are thin slices of tissue that are prepared for examination using an electron microscope. The tissue samples are typically fixed in a chemical solution to preserve their structural integrity, and then thinly sliced using a microtome. The sections are then placed on a microscope slide and treated with additional chemicals to improve their contrast and make them easier to view under the microscope.

Tissue sections made for EM imaging typically need to be ultra-thin and without surface artifacts or chattermarks. Many other market vibratomes are not able to make consistent, high-quality sections for electron microscopy because the blade on those vibratomes can push the tissue during the sectioning process. There are several techniques that can be used to prepare tissue sections for electron microscopy, including cryosectioning, resin embedding, and semi-thin sectioning.


The quality of your experiments will depend on the quality of your tissue slices and network matrices. The Compresstome® vibrating microtome has been scientifically demonstrated to create superior sections for EM and imaging. How does the Compresstome® do this? Our vibrating microtome does so by:

    • Stabilizing the specimen during the cutting process through 360-degree agarose embedding
    • Utilizing a high-frequency vibrating mechanism to reduce trauma to the top surface of slices
    • Reducing shearing by eliminating the Z-axis deflection of the cutting blade using our patented Auto Zero-Z® technology

We have designed our rotary microtomes to be able to make ultra-thin cuts, enabling scientists to create sections for EM studies. A microtome is a tool used to cut thin slices of tissue or other samples for microscopic examination. In electron microscopy, microtomes are used to prepare thin tissue sections that can be examined under an electron microscope.

To prepare tissue sections for electron microscopy, the tissue sample is typically fixed in a chemical solution to preserve its structural integrity and then placed on a stage in the microtome. The blade of the microtome is then used to cut the tissue into thin sections, which are collected on a microscope slide or a thin plastic film. The thickness of the sections can be controlled by adjusting the distance between the blade and the stage.

Our microtome product line include manual, semi-automated, and fully automated models to meet your electron microscopy (EM) sectioning needs.


Industrial Brain mapping: large scale brain mapping at Argonne National Lab

Dr. Gregg Wildenberg has a broad background in molecular biology, evolution, and most recently, brain mapping. His broad research interest is to discover the organizational principles to how the brain is wired, and how changes in wiring contribute to different brain function and individuality. His current goal is to create methods for high resolution, large volume brain mapping that can be scaled to the sizes of whole brains. Additionally, his research seeks to create these otherwise expensive technologies at Argonne National Lab, a part of the Department of Energy, in order to create a user facility for all research labs to access these tools without bearing the cost.


Microtomes from Precisionary Instruments have been used by labs around the world, and cited in hundreds of peer-reviewed publications. Explore these references by experiment, animal model, and organ system. For convenience, we also put together key experimental protocols to help you.