The first electron microscope was built just a few years after the electron was discovered in 1897 by J.J. Thompson. In 1931 Max Knoll and Ernst Ruska built the first TEM.
The first commercial TEM by Siemens available in 1939. In less than 100 years significant progress was made thanks to this tool. In cell biology, major advances were the consequence of developments made in specimen preparation. Today new techniques arise allowing the imaging of biological materials under more native conditions. In the JLS lab we use this tool to bridge the gap between the data acquired at optical resolution and information at the molecular level. In order to understand the underlying function that is hidden behind the structure of many cell types (bacteria, yeast, mammalian cells) and organelles (Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria...), we use classical EM techniques as well as cryo techniques.
We are also using advanced 3D imaging technologies (Electron tomography) to determine the structure of viruses and protein complexes. Tomography: derived from the Greek, tomos (slice) and graphia (describing). This technique is used to generate a of 3D volume from a series of 2D projections images taken around a single axis of rotation.