Basic Ultramicrotomy Minicourse

Ultramicrotomy Logo

Date: October 26-27, 2015

Location: University of Maryland Baltimore, Electron Microscopy Core Imaging Facility (EMCIF)

Instructor and demonstrator: : EMCIF Director (Dr. Ru-ching Hsia)  and staff

Scope of aims:  To promote the knowledge and skills of basic ultramicrotomy techniques.

Targeted participants:  Individuals who wish to learn basic ultramicrotomy of resin embedded biological specimen.  No experience required

Format: Lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice

Techniques covered: Trimming, semithick sectioning, Ultrathin sectioning and trouble shooting

Instrumentation:  Ultramicrotome (Leica UC6 and UC7)

Registration Fee: $600 ($550 if also attend Aurion IGSS workshop, see below)

Participants: maximum 6

Basic Ultramicrotomy Minicourse Registration Form

Mail registration form with payment to "EMCIF, BRB7-037, 655 West Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201"

A list of nearby hotels that offer special rate for UMB guests is available upon request, please contact EMCIF.

Payment Method:

By check

Make check payable to "UMB EM Facility Workshop"

By Credit card

Provide credit card information on the registration form

A seperate Aurion Immunogold and Silver Staining (IGSS) Workshop will be held on October 28 to 30 immediately after the ultramicrotomy minicourse.

More information of Aurion IGSS workshop  

Inquiry: Email 

Basic ultramicrotomy minicourse tentative agenda

Basic ultramicrotomy minicourse preliminary agenda  


9:00 to 9:50

The anatomy of ultramicrotomes
  • Types  of sectioning instrument
  • Mechanism of ultramicrotomes
  • Functionality of ultramicrotomes and accessories 


10:00 to 10:45

All about Knives
  • Types of diamond knives
  • The usage and care of  diamond knives
  • Glass knives, pros and cons.


11:00 to 12:00

Ultramicrotomy of resin embedded biological specimen:
workflow & general practice

  • Shaping sample pyramid & trapezoid block face
  • Smoothing block face
  • Pre-sectioning, semi-thick sectioning
  • Ultrathin sectioning
  • Section pick-up
 Lunch Break  



Demonstration: Manual trimming and ultramicrotome trimming
Demonstration: Making glass knives, eyelash tools and cleaning diamond knives
Hands-on Practice



Ultrathin sectioning clinics
  • Common problem troubleshoot
  • Special sectioning: Sectioning flat specimen (monolayers,  filters etc)
  • Tricks to locate diluted specimen in blocks
  • Tricks to section poorly embedded specimen (soft blocks)
  • Directional sectioning
  • Serial sections


Q & A


Hands-on Practice
 Lunch Break  


Hands-on Practice