Automated TEM grid stainer
RMC QG3100 is a fully automated, programmable TEM grid stainer for contrasting specimens on TEM grids using heavy metal salts such as lead citrate and uranyl acetate. The compact QC3100 holds up to 40 TEM grids per run and has a staining time of typically 60-90 minutes and a wash cycle time of five minutes.
QC3100 is fast, reliable and reproducible minimising contamination and solution waste.
- closed flow system - clean conditions and exclusion of air
- reliable and reproducible staining
- minimum exposure to staining solutions
- very low operation costs
- easy to set up user-defined staining protocol
- freely accessible tubing and valves – easy servicing
Problems with manual staining
All TEM preparation procedures require very clean conditions to avoid even minor contamination which is visible at high magnification in the TEM.
Lead citrate solutions are very sensitive to exposure to carbon dioxide and can result in the precipitation of fine particles in the form of lead carbonate, which instantly damages the specimens. Therefore, the staining process must exclude atmospheric air.
In many laboratories TEM staining is accomplished by hand. The grids are placed on small drops of staining solutions and washed between and after staining steps. It is very difficult to avoid contamination and many specimens end up being discarded. Processing grids by hand is also very time consuming and the number of grids that can be stained simultaneously is limited. Furthermore, manual staining increases the risk of exposing the user to potentially harmful substances.
QG3100 automatic grid stainer
The QG3100 increases both the staining quality and the yield by minimising contamination, while saving time and reducing waste. The system uses a peristaltic pump and pinch valves so that solutions flow in one direction and have contact only with the tubing and grid chamber. In addition to minimising contamination this design significantly reduces the time and waste associated with manual techniques. The QG3100 is fully programmable by the user who can create their own recipes.
Easy to use and maintain
Maintenance is simple and is easily carried out by the user. All components exposed to the staining solutions are immediately acccessible and easy to replace.
Additional information and specification
|Uranyl acetate and lead citrate||Low cost as user makes up their own stains, rather than relying on expensive bought-in pre-packed stains with a limited shelf life|
|Waste (per staining, using default protocols)|
|Waste uranyl acetate / H2o||100ml|
|Waste lead citrate / H2o||100ml|
|Waste HNO3 / H20||200ml|
|Cycle wash time||2 x 5 minutes|
|Staining times (typical)||60-90 minutes|
|Standard grid holder capacity||40 grids|
|Customisable staining times||Yes|
|Freely programmable staining and processing protocols||Yes|
|Optional inputs for alternative staining/washing solutions||Two|
|Handling||User interaction possible at any time and may continue programme or switch to manual control of pump and valves|
|Status at the end of staining||Chamber remains filled, grids immersed|
|Dimensions and weights||80 x 60 x 60cm, 45kg|