NeurotechEU Summer School on Electron Microscopy Sample Preparation in Debrecen, Hungary

The University of Debrecen is organising the NeurotechEU summer school on ‘Electron Microscopy Sample Preparation’ between 17th – 22nd July 2023 at the University of Debrecen, with a 3-day online course (10th-13th July) preceding the event. The summer school is organised as an Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Program and will offer you the opportunity to build up and expand your theoretical and practical knowledge on ‘Electron Microscopy Sample Preparation’.



The first part of the NeurotechEU summer school was held online and the theoretical background of sample preparation and Electron Microscopy techniques is discussed by tutors from the University of Debrecen (UD) and partners from NeurotechEU.

The second part of the course is a 5-day practical course in the Electron Microscopy Laboratory of the Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology (UD). During the hands-on training, participants can observe fixation methods, sectioning with the ultramicrotome, osmification, dehydration, embedding, and mounting. A separate day is dedicated to manual and automated (ATUMtome) serial ultrathin section cutting. They will also get an introduction to recognising basic neuronal and glial structures on EM images.

Host university teaching staff /experts: Greta Kis, Vera Etelka Szarvas and Peter Szucs

Number of ECTS granted: 3 ECTS

 Profile of participants

Students enrolled in universities that are part of the NeurotechEU alliance (bachelor, master, doctoral, and postgraduate studies in medicine and/or neurosciences), electron microscopy technicians, and laboratory assistants.

Applications are closed


Provisional programme

Transcardial perfusion, brain tissue sampling/vibratome sectioning (for SBF-SEM)
Embedding of resin-impregnated tissue blocks in capsules/mounting of resin-impregnated sections on slides/preparation of formvar coated grids
Practical overview of osmification, dehydration and embedding steps
Manual and automated cutting of ultrathin serial sections using ultramicrotome and ATUMtome/glueing osmificated blocks on pins for SBF-SEM/Sightseeing (optional)
Manual and automated cutting of ultrathin serial sections using ultramicrotome and ATUMtome/glueing osmificated blocks on pins for SBF-SEM/Sightseeing (optional)
Trip to Hortobágy, a nearby National Park (optional)

Event report

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Day 1
We demonstrated transcardial perfusion of animals to get the best fixation for EM. We also showed how vibratome sections are made for volume EM.
At the end of the day we had a Welcome Dinner for the students that was connected with a minisymposium on NTEU at UD.
Day 2
Students were taught to embed resin impregnated tissue blocks in capsules, they have prepared glass knives and formvar coated grids.
Day 3
On the 3rd day of the course students saw an overview of practical steps of osmification, dehydration and embedding. They have created eyelash brushes and metallic loops. Everyone could try trimming of blocks, collection of ultrathin sections on grids, contrasting, and glueing osmificated blocks on pins for SBF-SEM.
In the afternoon a tour at the University Main building and Rectorate was organized.
Day 4 and 5
Students were separated into two groups as these practicals needed more space and time. 
Everyone had the possibility to try / practice manual and automated cutting of serial ultrathin sections using ultramicrotome and ATUMtome and semithin sectioning.
At the end of Day 5 we had a lovely trip to a great grassy plain near Debrecen (called Hortobagy) where students had the chance to see some of our characteristic local animals and later during the dinner they also could taste dishes prepared from those animals in a traditional way.
© Matthias Brus: Shift change at the Campus Festival NeurotechEU stand at the University of Bonn, Germany: Bonn’s NeurotechEU Student Council members Rohan Shankar Menon, Elena Bonilla Aparicio and Lasse Keuneke next to the Bonn Project Office team (from left to right).
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