SCSC is one of the four service centers of a National Network for Cryoelectron Tomography, coordinated by a central network hub. The service centers will specialize in cryoET specimen preparation. The hub will perform cryoET data collection for all user laboratories served by the network, in addition to its service center functions.

SCSC is located on the SLAC campus of Stanford University. The equipment, laboratories, and user work areas are located in Buildings 6 and 57. SCSC is one of several structural biology centers within SSRL/SLAC: SCSC is closely affiliated with the Stanford-SLAC CryoEM Center (S2C2) - the NIH-funded Center for cryoEM single-particle data collection and training, and with the synchrotron x-ray based Structural Molecular Biology Resource.

What does SCSC offer to users?

 The SCSC is a service center to prepare specimens, including the following

  • BSL1 and BSL2 cell culturing areas
  • Fluorescence and bright field microscopes to evaluate cell cultures before vitrification
  • plunge freezing and high-pressure freezing of specimens
  • fluorescence imaging of vitrified specimens
  • cryoFIB-milling of thick specimens adhered on an electron microscopy (EM) grid
  • integrated fluorescence microscopy (iFLM) for guided cryoFIB-milling
  • grid preparation devices for 'waffle' milling
  • cryo-sectioning (cryo-ultramicrotomy) of very thick specimens
  • training in all aspects of the cryo-ET specimen preparation workflow

The samples are sent by users to SCSC following standard protocols. In order to evaluate the quality of the samples being prepared at SCSC, users will be able to access a cryo-TEM, which will ensure that the samples are ready for tomographic data collection at the cryoET service center hub.