The DiATOME ultra sonic, the oscillating diamond knife for room temperature ultramicrotomy, was developed in collaboration with Dr Daniel Studer, Lab. of Anatomy, University of Berne. A piezo actuator produces an oscillation of the knife at a desired frequency and amplitude, parallel with the cutting edge. A depression in the foot of the knife allows the oscillation parallel to the cutting edge. The depression is rigid in the north/south direction and guarantees stability in the cutting direction.
The knife produces ultrathin sections almost free of compression. The sections become thinner at the same thickness setting: since the volume of the section remains the same, the increased length leads to a decrease in thickness.
Knife angle: 35°
Knife cutting range: 10-80nm
Knife cutting edge length: 3.0mm
Frequency: 25-45kHz, or automatic setting of the resonance
Amplitude: variable (Voltage 0-30V)
Mains voltage: 230V, 110V
- H. Sitte: Advanced Instrumentation and Methodology related to Cryoultramicrotomy: a Review. Scanning Microscopy Supplement 10, pp. 87-466, 1996.
- M. Michel, H. Gnägi and M. Müller: Diamonds are a cryosectioner's best friend. Journal of Microscopy, Vol. 166, Pt 1, pp. 43-56, 1992.
- O.L. Reymond: The diamond knife "semi": a substitute for glass or conventional diamond knives in the ultramicrotomy of thin and semi-thin sections. Bas. Applied Histochemistry, No. 30, pp. 487-494, 1986.
- Various publications on materials ultramicrotomy. Microscopy Research and Technique, Vol. 31. Number 4, pp. 265-310, 1995.
- L. Edelmann: Freeze-substitution and the preservation of diffusable ions. Journal of Microscopy, Vol. 161, pp. 217-228, 1991.
- J.C. Jésior: How to avoid compression. Journal of Ultrastructure and Molecular Structure Research, pp. 210-217, 1986.
- J.C. Jésior: Use of low-angle diamond knives leads to improved ultrastructural preservation of ultrathin sections. Scanning Microscopy Supplement 3, pp. 147-153, 1989.
- K. Richter: Cutting artefacts on ultrathin cryosections of biological bulk specimens. Micron, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 297-308, 1994.
- K. Richter, H.Gnaegi and J. Dubochet: A model for cryosectioning based on the morphology of vitrified ultrathin sections. Journal of Microscopy, Vol. 163, Pt 1, pp. 19-28, 1991.
- C.E. Hsieh, M. Marko, J. Frank and C.A. Mannella: Electron tomographic analysis of frozen-hydrated tissue sections. Journal of Structural Biology 138, pp. 63-73, 2002.
- J.R. McIntosh: Electron Microscopy of Cells: A new beginning of a new century. The journal of Cell Biology, Vol. 153, pp. 25-32, 2001.
- A. Al-Amoudi, J.Dubochet, H. Gnaegi, W. Lüthi, D.Studer: An oscillating cryo-knife reduces cuttinginduced deformation of vitreous ultrathin sections. Journal of Microscopy, Vol. 212, Pt 1, pp. 26-33, 2003.
- D. Studer and H. Gnägi: Minimal compression of ultrathin sections with use of an oscillating diamond knife. Journal of Microscopy, Vol. 197, Pt 1, pp. 94-100, 2000.
- J.S. Vastenhout and H.Gnaegi: Ultramicrotomy of polymers using an oscillating knife; improving polymer morphology. Microscopy and Microanalysis. 8 (Suppl. 2) 2002.