Three Micro Images

N.C. Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies

Annual Reports

Student Presentations from MCR 785/485 Scanning Electron Microscopy:

The N.C. Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies is the central microscopy facility at SUNY-ESF, located on the second floor of Baker Lab. The Center for Ultrastructure Studies provides students, faculty and research staff with access, assistance, and training in modern microscopy techniques. These techniques include light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, flydigital imaging, image analysis and a host of ancillary applications.

This facility was first established in 1957 with the installation of the first transmission electron microscope in central New York. The N.C. Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies was formally established in 1972 when anETEC scanning electron microscope was installed in Baker Laboratory. The Center has always maintained a position of leadership and excellence in the areas of wood structure and microscopy, both nationally and internationally.

Many departments and programs within the College and neighboring universities are represented among the faculty, staff and students who utilize the Center for research. During an average year, 30 faculty, 35 graduate students, and numerous undergraduate students utilize the resources of the Center for their research. Outreach activity is also an important service provided by the Center. These services include providing micrographs for educational purposes, assistance to other universities, tours and demonstrations to interested technology groups, and microscopy assistance to private industry. The types of private industries for which we provided microscopy services include forest product industries, pulp and paper manufacturers, wood preservation companies, consulting engineering firms, and large pharmaceutical companies.

Salts Logo

Syracuse Asbestos Laboratory Testing Services
NY Lab ID #12002

For information contact 470-6637. The SALTS lab is ELAP certified for Phase Contrast Microscopy fiber analysis (NIOSH 7400 A RULES). The Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) is part of the Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health.


  • Reserve time on the Microscopes with FACES
    Contact Robert Smith( to obtain log-on infomation for the FACES scheduling system.

scanning electron microscope

Scanning Electron Microscope

Our current scanning electron microscope is a JEOL JSM-5800 LV low vacuum scanning electron microscope equipped with an EDAX energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer. The JSM 5800 LV has superior resolution in high vacuum mode, a large chamber for microtesting, and a motorized eucentric stage for unattended analysis. The instrument will operate in the conventional high vacuum mode or the low vacuum mode of operation.

The JSM 5800 LV is equipped with an EDAX x-ray microanalysis system. The energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) is an essential and integral component of any multidisciplinary scanning electron microscopy facility. EDS x-ray analysis is employed for the identification and localization of the chemical components within the specimen.The lab is equipped with a Tousimis PVT-3B critical point dryer and with metal and carbon coaters for superior specimenresolution.

electron microscope

Transmission Electron Microscope

Our transmission electron microscope is a JEOL JSM-2000EX. The JSM 2000EX has an accelerating voltage of 80-200 kV. This instrument has a lattice image resolution of 0.14nm and a point image resolution of 0.28 nm and can be operated at a magnification of 1,000,000 X. The variable accelerating voltage permits the observation of negative stained proteins, bacteria, viruses or ultrathin sections at the lower kV as well as superior resolution of nanoparticles and thick specimens at higher voltages. It has a side entry tilt stage goniometer that can perform 3D reconstruction of macromolecules, single particles and tomography of whole cells. It can also perform micro electron diffraction yielding atomic resolution on thin samples as has been accomplished with purple membrane. Other capabilities are a specimen position memory function, an auto through focus function, an optimum underfocus function, a minimum dose system, and an image data recording function. The lab has ancillary equipment that allows for ultrathin (60nm) sectioning using diamond knives of resin or frozen material, freeze-substitution, rotary shadowing, immunolabeling, freeze fracturing of various samples both biological and materials.

light microscope

Light Microscopes and Image Analysis

The Center is outfitted with an array of Zeiss and Nikon light microscopes that are equipped for various LM techniques. These techniques include brightfield (transmitted and reflected), phase contrast, darkfield, UV fluorescence using multiple filters, video enhanced contrast, polarization, oil immersion, and Nomarski differential interference contrast. Images are recorded using a Spot RT or K digital cameras (1600x1200 pixels) and recorded into Spot, Image Pro Plus 7.0, Image J or Photoshop. The lab is set up for correlative microscopy where the same sample is viewed by light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The lab has several sliding microtomes for preparing thin sections of wood or hardened materials for light microscopy.

  • Robert P. Smith, MS, PhD candidate, SALTS Lead Technical Director & Assistant Director of the NC Brown Center, (315) 470-6871;
  • Dr. Susan Anagnost, SALTS Technical Director & Director of the NC Brown Center, (315) 470-6880;
  • Michael R. Norman, SALTS Client Services Associate & Analyst, (315) 470-6637;;

N.C. Brown Ancillary Equipment

  • Leica UC6 Cryo and Resin Ultramicrotome
  • Balzers T400 Rotary Shadow Freeze-Fracture Device with Glow Discharge System
  • Leica Freeze Substitution Machine
  • Leica Plunge Freeze Device
  • Leica Automatic Grid Stainer
  • Beckman Airfuge
  • Sliding Microtomes
  • Microtek Flat Bed Film Scanner
  • ImagePro, Image J, and PhotoShop

leafAcademic Program

The Academic program offered by the Center consists of graduate and undergraduate courses, graduate level special topic research projects, and graduate student guidance. We offer a twelve-credit minor in microscopy for undergraduates. Our program is unique in central New York. We are the only one offering comprehensive formal training in the theory and application of these research tools. The courses offered are:


  • MCR 480 Fundamentals of Microscopy (3)
  • MCR 484 Scanning Electron Microscopy (3)
  • MCR 485 Transmission Electron Microscopy (3)

Graduate/ Advanced Undergraduate

  • MCR 580 Microtechnique of Wood (1-3)
  • MCR 585 Light Microscopy for Research Applications (3)
  • MCR 570 Medical & Industrial Applications of Microscopy (3)


  • MCR 680 Fundamentals of Microscopy (3)
  • MCR 682 Transmission Electron Microscopy for Nanoparticle Research (2)
  • MCR 683 Operation of the Transmission Electron Microscope (3)
  • MCR 685 Transmission Electron Microscopy (5)
  • MCR 783 Operation of the Scanning Electron Microscope (3)
  • MCR 785 Scanning Electron Microscopy (5)
  • MCR 796 Special Topics - Advanced Electron Microscopy 1-3 credit hours

Microscopy Minor (12 credits):

  • MCR 480 Fundamentals of Microscopy (3)
  • MCR 484 Scanning Electron Microscopy (3)
  • MCR 485 Transmission Electron Microscopy (3)
  • MCR 570 Medical & Industrial Applications of Microscopy (3)

Due to the special nature of these courses, the optimal enrollment where ‘hands-on’ practical microscope use is involved is 8-10 students.

MCR 480/680 is an undergraduate or graduate level survey course that touches on theory of all microscopes used today such as atomic force, Raman, Near Field as well as techniques employed such as In-situ hybridization, autoradiography and Immuno-gold labeling. Also covered is the cellular structure and substructure encountered during tissue examination using light and electron microscopes.

2015 Rate Schedule



Outside Academics


Training Charges:
(Students registered for an ESF MCR courses are not included)*
Rate Rate Rate**
Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) (JEOL 2000EX)/hr $40 50 100
High Resolution TEM 120kV and higher/hr 50 60 120
Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) (JEOL 5800LV)/hr 40 50 100
Freeze Fracture Techniques (Balzers 400T)/hr 40 50 100
Cryotechniques (Ultramicrotomy;Freeze Substitution) (UC6)/hr 40 50 100
Resin Ultramicrotomy (hydrophobic or Hydrophilic)/sample 40 50 100
Light Microscopy/slide 40 50 100
Sliding Microtome 40 50 100
Usage Charges: Biological/Materials      
Light microscopy (BF,PC,Nomarski, PL)/slide 10 15 30
Photomicrography/slide 10 15 30
Sliding microtome/sample 10 15 30
Stained semi-thin sections/slide (TEM) 10 15 30
Fluorescence sample prep/slide 40 50 100
Fluorescence micrography/slide 40 50 100
SEM/hr 40 50 100
Critical Point Drying/run 30 45 90
Sputter Coating Au/Pd/run 20 30 60
SEM elemental analysis/sample 40 50 100
TEM/hr 40 50 100
High Resolution TEM (120kV and higher)/hr 50 60 120
Freeze Substitution/run 75 100 200
Ultamicrotome/hr 40 50 100
Tissue processing and embedding in plastic/4 blocks 60 90 180
Cryoultramicrotomy/sample 75 100 200
Autoradiography (tritium, iodine 125)/sample 500 1000 2000
Immunoelectron microscopy IEM (LM,SEM or TEM)/sample 500 1000 2000
Silver enhancement/sample 40 50 100
Wet photography and film scanning/each 2 3 6
Freeze Fracture/sample (with IEM add $500) 500 1000 2000
Negative staining (UA,PTA,Va,Mo)/grid 10 15 30
Airfuge particle count (includes negative stain TEM)/run 500 1000 2000
Glow discharge/run 10 15 30
Rotary shadow (Pt,Au,Cr,Ti,Ta)/run 50 60 120
Electron diffraction/grid 500 1000 2000
Electron tomography and 3D reconstruction/grid 500 1000 2000

* Students may be charged a lab fee for certain courses

** Industry Rate is normally 2X Outside Academia Rate unless otherwise noted

  • Fee-for-service charges: Freeze Fracture, Ultramicrotomy, TEM, SEM and others $40/hr + materials and equipment use charge
  • Supply charges: Film, paper, stubs, grids, liquid nitrogen, etc. at cost

Current Faculty and Student Projects

  • Cellulose nanocrystals
  • Gold nanoparticles in clinical use
  • Quantum dots
  • Ink penetration in paper
  • Immunolocalization of hemicellulose in wood
  • Fish gall bladder parasites
  • Insect vectors of disease
  • Wood degradation by fungi
  • PHOTO GALLERY Student portfolios

Acknowledgments in Publications

The N.C. Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies at SUNY-ESF must be acknowledged in all publications that include data derived from the Center. Include this statement: "Microscopy was performed at the N.C. Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies at SUNY-ESF, Syracuse, NY."

If N.C. Brown personnel performed the work for you they should be acknowledged by name.


Director: Susan Anagnost, Ph.D.

  • website

  • Director since 2011
  • 10 years as Assistant Director of the NC Brown Center
  • Professor, SUNY-ESF
  • Chair, Department of Sustainable Construction Management and Engineering 2006-present
Noteworthy publications:

Rosenbaum, P.F., Crawford J.A., Anagnost S.E., Wang C.J.K., Hunt A., Anbar R.D., Hargrave T.M., Hall G.E., Liu C.C. and J.L. Abraham. 2010. Indoor airborne fungi and wheeze in the first year of life among a cohort of infants at risk for asthma. Journal Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, 20:503-515.

Anagnost, S.E., Zhou, S., Yeo, H. Wang, C.J.K., Smith, W.B. and D.M. Roberts. 2006. Fungi inhabiting southern pine utility poles during manufacture. Forest Products Journal 56(1):53-59.

Fernando, A.A., Anagnost, S.E., Zhou, S., Morey, S.R., and C.J.K. Wang. 2005. Noteworthy fungi from air samples. Mycotaxon 92:322-338.

Anagnost, S.E., Mark, R. M. and R. B. Hanna. 2005. S2 Orientation of Microfibrils in Softwood Tracheids and Hardwood Fibers. International Association of Wood Anatomists Journal 26(3):325-338.

Anagnost, S.E., Mark, R.E. and R.B. Hanna. 2002. Variation of microfibril angle within individual fibers. Wood and Fiber Science 34(2):337-349.

Anagnost, S.E., Mark, R.E. and R.B. Hanna. 2000. Utilization of soft rot cavity orientation for the determination of microfibril angle. Wood and Fiber Science 32(1):81-87.

Anagnost, S.E. 1998. Light microscopic diagnosis of wood decay. International Association of Wood Anatomists Journal 19(2):141-167.

Assistant Director: Robert P. Smith, M.S., Ph.D (Pending)

  • website
  • SALTS Lead Technical Director
  • 6 years as Assistant Director of the NC Brown Center
  • 10 years as Senior Scientist and Lab Director of the Diagnostic Electron Microscope Center, Pathology Department, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York.
  • 12 years experience as head electron microscope unit, Wyeth Vaccines, Rochester and Pearl River, NY.
Noteworthy publications:

Tao, W., He, Y., Wang, Z., Smith, R.P., Shayya, W. and Y. Pei. 2012. Effects of ph and temperature on coupling nitration and anammox in biofilters treating dairy wastewater. Ecological Engineering 47: 76-82.

Arthur, B.A., R.P. Smith et al. 2011. Imaging of Ink Jet Penetration in Uncoated Paper Using Microscopic Techniques. Tappi Journal 10(11): 35-40. An image of a rotavirus

Petrus, A.K., R.P. Smith et al. 2009. Exploring the Implications of Vitamin B12 Conjugation to Insulin on Insulin Receptor Binding. ChemMedChem (4):421-426. (Journal Cover Image Also)

Hennan, J., R.P. Smith et al. 2006. Rotigaptide (ZP123) Prevents Spontaneous Ventricular Arrhythmias and Reduces Infarct Size During Myocardial Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Open-Chest Dogs. J Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. April, 317(1): 236-43.

Green, B.A., R.P. Smith et al. 2005. PppA, Surface Exposed Protein of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Elicits Cross Reactive Antibodies That Reduce Colonization in a Murine Intranasal Immunization Challenge Model. Infection and Immunity 2005. 73(2): 981-989.

Fletcher, L.D., R.P. Smith et al 2004. Vaccine Potential of the Neisseria meningitidis 2086 Lipoprotein. Infection and Immunity 72: 2088-2100.

Lo, M.C., R.P. Smith et al. 2004. Probing the Interaction of HTI-286 with Tubulin using a Stilbene analogue. Journal of the American Chemical Society 126: 9898-9899.

Madore, H.P., Estes, M.K., Zarley, C.D., Hu, B., Parsons, S., Digravio, D., Greiner, S., Smith, R.P., Jiang, B., Corsaro, B., Barniak, V., Crawford, S. and
M.E. Conner. 1999. Biochemical and immunologic comparison of virus-like particles for a rotavirus subunit vaccine. Vaccine 17(19): 2461-471.



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