Netherlands Centre for Electron Nanoscopy (NeCEN)
Einsteinweg 55 2333 CC Leiden, The Netherlands
+31 (0)71 527 1421
The Netherlands Centre for Electron Nanoscopy (NeCEN) is a national advanced cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) user facility for structural biology in the life sciences. At NeCEN, several research teams and users are studying the spatial structure of proteins, macromolecular complexes and molecular machines in vitro (utilizing mainly cryo-EM and single particle analysis methods) and in vivo (by cellular cryo-electron tomography).
In addition, NeCEN offers sample preparation, sample screening and image processing.
- Biomedical & health
- Industrial biotech
- Investigate the structure, interactions and conformational dynamics of macromolecular complexes and assemblies in vitro and furthermore in vivo (within their cellular context) by utilizing advanced three-dimensional electron microscopy methods (cryo-electron microscopy
- Image Processing
- Structural biology
- Molecular structural biology
- Molecular medicine
Expertise and Track Record
43500984076 ‘Freeze Frame’ Precise cryo-imaging of motile bacterial aggregates by electron microscopy with T.S. Shimizu (FOM-AMOLF). 43500984044 High-resolution structure of a synaptic cell adhesion complex enabled by state-of-the-art phase-plate cryo-electron microscopy with D.H.M. Meijer (Utrecht University)
NeCEN provides unique equipment and expertise. It has two dedicated and state of the art cryo-transmission electron microscopes (FEI Titan Krios), equipped with the latest direct detector technology, of which no others are available in the Netherlands. NeCEN also provides state of the art sample preparation technology (including cryo-FIB milling of cells and tissue) and image processing.
• CTF-correction development: M. van Heel (Leiden); L. van Vliet (Delft);
• Different macromolecular protein complexes of the innate immune system – Dual axis tomographic acquisition; Sub-tomogram averaging: C. Diebolder, (Leiden), P. Gros (Utrecht), R. Koning (Leiden)
• Agrobacteria – Cryo-correlative electron tomography: S. Wolf, M. Elbaum (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel); A.J. Koster (Leiden);
• Herpes Simplex Virus – J.F. Conway (Pittsburg, US); M. Vos (Eindhoven, FEI Company);
• Falcon detector characterization/radiation damage – M. Vulovic (Delft); B. Rieger (Delft); R. Ravelli (Leiden); A.J. Koster (Leiden)
- Rigort A, Bäuerlein F, Villa E, Eibauer M, Laugks T, Baumeister W and Plitzko JM. Focused ion beam micromachining of eukaryotic cells for cryo-electron tomography. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012, 109 (12): 4449-4454. see also: Research Highlights: Etch-a-cell in Nature Methods 9, 434 (2012)
- Faas FGA, Avramut MC, van den Berg BM, Mommaas AM, Koster AJ, Ravelli RBG: Virtual Nanoscopy: Generation of ultra-large high resolution electron microscopy maps. Journal of Cell Biology 2012, 198(3): 457-469.
- Korinek A, Beck F, Baumeister W, Nickell S. and Plitzko JM: Computer controlled cryo-electron microscopy – TOM2 a software package for high-throughput applications. Journal of Structural Biology 2011, 175: 394–405.
- Briegel, A, Chen, S, Koster, AJ, Plitzko, JM, Schwartz, CL, Jensen, GJ: Chapter 13 – Correlated light and electron cryo-microscopy. In Methods in Enzymology. Edited by Jensen GJ, Academic Press; 2010:317-341. Vol 481. see also: Elsevier: The most cited Journal of Structural Biology articles
- Nickell S, Förster F, Linaroudis A, Del Net W, Beck F, Hegerl R, Baumeister W and Plitzko JM: TOM software toolbox: acquisition and analysis for electron tomography. Journal of Structural Biology 2005, 149:227-234. see also: WikiBooks: Software tools for molecular microscopy Cryo-FIB milling  is an improved FIB approach that allows targeting specific, deep intracellular structures for cryo-ET analysis. A mayor breakthrough was the development of a milling technique to blast away material both above and below the target region in an ice-embedded cell, to leave behind a thin lamella.
NeCEN is part of the Instruct-NL Center and thus directly involved in the EU ESFRI project Instruct (the Integrated Structural Biology Infrastructure for Europe). NeCEN has been opened as a research infrastructure for cryo-EM in October 2011.