Materials applications

The mPrep System™ streamlines materials sample preparation. Use mPrep/s capsules to prepare specimens for TEM, SEM, and other analytical instruments that require sample sectioning. Use mPrep/g capsules to prepare specimens on TEM grids. mPrep System benefits include:

  • Reduced labor
  • Simultaneous reagent processing
  • Consistent quality and reproducibility
  • Reduced errors and accidents due to limited sample touches
  • Labels and document every sample every time

Nanoparticles (TEM)

Materials applications

  • Embed and cross-section polymers, soft material, films and fibers
  • Entrap small particles for easy handling
  • Orient films and fibers for SEM preparation and imaging
  • Prepare nanoparticles on grids

The mPrep System is designed for versatility. Our customers continue to develop new applications.  Explore some Materials applications below.


Hydrogel polymer sectioning



Materials applications

Preparing nanoparticles on TEM grids

The mPrep system simplifies the preparation of nanoparticles for TEM.

Problems

Nanoparticle specimen prep requires  forceps to transfer filmed grids through multiple reagents. Grids are stored in grid boxes until TEM imaging.

  • Grids and support films are easily damaged
  • Grids are easily lost or mixed up
  • Limited quantities of specimen solutions may be available
  • Specimen and reagent solutions may evaporate, precipitate or be contaminated
  • Adsorption and staining times may be inconsistent across multiple grids

 

mPrep solutions

  • Encapsulated grids reduce handling and damage
  • Grids in mPrep/g capsules are always labeled
  • Capsules require only 35 μl to prepare two grids
  • Enclosed capsules reduce or eliminate air exposure
  • Simultaneous processing assures uniform timing

Nanoparticles (TEM negative stain)

Application Notes

This illustrated protocol shows the preparation of nanoparticle specimens for negative stain TEM using Formvar®-filmed grids in mPrep/g capsules. Eight different formulations of ~100 nm drug delivery particles were prepared simultaneously for a pharmaceutical company to evaluate structure and uniformity. This general sample preparation method can be applied to other nano-scale specimens including nano-fibers and viruses.

This application note illustrates the preparation of macromolecular specimens for negative stain TEM using mPrep/g capsules, pipettors and Formvar®-filmed TEM grids. The example is a DNA-RecA complex, although the protocol is applicable to many other specimens. The specimen preparation and microscopy was performed in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin – Madison by Mr. Jay Campbell and Dr. Sindhu Chitteni-Pattu, in the laboratory of Dr. Michael M Cox.

Required

mPrep/g capsules to hold TEM grids
mPrep/f couplers to prevent introducing damaging reagents into pipettors
Pipettor (such as a Gilson P200 volume) to enable reagent pipetting into mPrep/s capsules

Recommended

Reagent reservoirs

Microwell plates

mPrep/bench to seal capsule bottoms during long reagent treatments

Gilson Pipetman Neo (P200) pipettors bundled with mPrep/g capsules

mPrep/g Pipettor Kit single-channel

  • Single-channel pipettor
  • mPrep/s capsule pack
  • 96 pipette tips

mPrep/g Pipettor Kit eight-channel

  • Eight-channel pipettor
  • mPrep/g capsule pack
  • 96 pipette tips

Product Descriptions

Publications

Vierrether O, TerBush J, Wisner C (2016) Nano-Particle TEM Sample Preparation Primer. Microsc. Microanal. 22 (Suppl 3), 2016: 1914. doi:10.1017/S1431927616010412

This paper and poster provides a guide to selecting grid and support film types for preparing nanoparticles for TEM, and also compares droplet preparation with mPrep ASP-1000 automated processing. The authors concluded that lacey silicon monoxide/Formvar films on 300 mesh grids proved to the be the best for the nanoparticles examined. They also concluded that mPrep automation reduced sample agglomeration thereby allowing for single particle imaging, and this could also be achieved with mPrep/g capsules and manual pipetting.

Goodman S.L. (2015) Efficient and Documented Preparation of Pharmaceutical Particles for Correlative Microscopy Analyses using mPrep Capsule Processing Microsc. Microanal. 21 (Suppl 3), 2015: 393-4. doi: 10.1017/S1431927615002767

Using mPrep capsules, Goodman prepared two types of pharmaceutical particles for characterization. The mPrep capsules enabled simultaneous and GLP compliant sample preparation. Goodman used mPrep/g capsules to simultaneously prepare 16 grids for TEM from two formulations of siRNA drug delivery nanoparticles with four staining protocols. The grids were then analyzed for morphology and uniformity using TEM. In a separate study he simultaneously embedded four formulations of polymeric drug delivery micro-particles to create eight blocks for cross-sectioning. Thin sections were than analyzed for chemical composition using transmission FTIR and for elemental composition using EDS-SEM.

Jain R, Maric R (2014) Synthesis of nano-Pt onto ceria support as catalyst for water–gas shift reaction by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology. Applied Catalysis A: General, 475: 461–468.

Jain et al used mPrep/g capsules to prepare nanoparticle specimens for high resolution TEM characterization. They deposited reactive spray synthesized nano-Pt catalysts onto lacy carbon filmed 300 mesh TEM grids in mPrep/g capsules.

Jain R, Poyraz AS, Gamliel DP, Valla J, Suib SL, Maric R (2015) Comparative study for low temperature water-gas shift reaction on Pt/ceria catalysts: Role of different ceria supports. Applied Catalysis A: General, 507: 1–13.

Jain, et al used mPrep/g capsules to prepare nanoparticle specimens for high resolution TEM characterization. They tested and characterized different Pt on ceria catalyst using XRD, Raman, BET, SEM and TEM. For TEM imaging, the catalysts were deposited onto carbon filmed 300 mesh TEM grids using mPrep/g capsules.



Instructions

Instructions for using mPrep/g capsules for grid handling and processing.

Instructions for using mPrep/g capsules for staining sections on grids with uranyl acetate and lead citrate.

A graphical display illustrating how to load grids into mPrep/g capsules, and how to use pipettors to stain or label grids. Use this guide as a lab reference poster.


Product Descriptions

mPrep grid products

mPrep/Bench™ model 96s

96-well silicone rack for mPrep capsules

Product SKU: 34000

$45.00

mPrep/g™ Capsule Pack

16 capsules, storage box, labels

Product SKU: 21300

$48.00

mPrep/g™ Capsules – 96 count

96 capsules, 96 label sets

Product SKU: 21500

$288.00

mPrep/f 30 Standard Filter Coupler™

16 couplers

Product SKU: 31500

$48.00

mPrep/f 13 Extreme Filter Coupler™

16 couplers

Product SKU: 31600

$48.00

mPrep™ CPD Holder

Holds up to 6 mPrep/s or mPrep/g capsules in Tousimis® CPD apparatus

Product SKU: 33010

$225.00

ASP-1000 mPrep Automatic Specimen Processor

Programable specimen and grid preparation.     Request a Quotation

Product SKU: ASP1000

Reagent Reservoirs

Chemically resistant 15ml reservoirs, 50 per pack

Product SKU: 52001

$22.00

Microwell Plates

Chemically resistant 96-well plates, 10 per pack

Product SKU: 51001

$39.00

mPrep/g™ Pipettor Kit eight-channel

eight-channel pipettor, mPrep/g capsule pack, 96 pipette tips

Product SKU: 43200

$686.00

mPrep/g™ Pipettor Kit single-channel

single-channel pipettor, mPrep/g capsule pack, 96 pipette tips

Product SKU: 43100

$366.00

Polymer cross sections

The mPrep System streamlines sample preparation of polymers and soft materials that are embedded and cross-sectioned for analysis with SEM-EDS (energy dispersive spectroscopy), optical spectroscopies (e.g. FTIR and Raman), and TEM.

Problems

The processes to embed and cross-section polymers and soft materials are conducted using laboratory equipment that are not well suited for this purpose. Microscopists experience multiple challenges;

  • Difficultly preparing many specimens at once
  • Orienting fibers and films is time consuming
  • Difficultly handling particulate specimens
  • Specimens may be damaged during preparation
  • Keeping track of multiple specimens and protocols is difficult

 

mPrep solutions

mPrep/s capsule sample preparation addresses these challenges:

  • Simultaneous processing enables easy preparation of multiple specimens
  • Accurate orientation in seconds using the mPrep Workstation
  • Particulate specimens are entrapped throughout embedding
  • Encapsulated specimen reduces handling and damage
  • Labeled capsules are easy to track

Whole particle (SEM) and 4 EDS cross-section maps

FTIR maps polymer cross-sections

Application Notes

This application note illustrates the preparation of polymer specimens for cross-sectional analysis. Polymer drug delivery particles were embedded and cross-sectioned for transmission FTIR spectroscopy and EDS-SEM. The application note also shows how to extend these methods to the preparation of other soft materials including coatings, thin films and fibers.

Required

mPrep/s capsules to hold specimens

An insertion tool is required to insert, remove and adjust the mPrep/s screen. There are two options:

  •  mPrep/s Insertion tool
  •  mPrep/s Workstation (w/integrated insertion tool): required to orient specimens using the pinch method. Recommended because of its additional benefits
      • Precise specimen orientation in seconds
      • Wet samples easy to handle
      • Single focal plane keeps specimens in focus
      • Simultaneous loading of capsules onto pipettor for reagent processing

    mPrep/f couplers to prevent introducing damaging reagents into pipettors

    Pipettor (such as a Gilson P200 volume) to enable reagent pipetting into mPrep/s capsules

    mPrep/bench to seal capsule bottoms during long reagent treatments and resin curing

Recommended

Reagent reservoirs

Microwell plates

Gilson Pipetman Neo (P200) pipettors bundled with mPrep/s capsules

mPrep/s™ Pipettor Kit single-channel

  • Single-channel pipettor
  • mPrep/s capsule pack
  • 96 pipette tips

mPrep/s™ Pipettor Kit eight-channel

  • Eight-channel pipettor
  • mPrep/s capsule pack
  • 96 pipette tips

Publications

Goodman S.L. (2015) Efficient and Documented Preparation of Pharmaceutical Particles for Correlative Microscopy Analyses using mPrep Capsule Processing Microsc. Microanal. 21 (Suppl 3), 2015: 393-4. doi: 10.1017/S1431927615002767

Using mPrep capsules, Goodman prepared two types of pharmaceutical particles for characterization. The mPrep capsules enabled simultaneous and GLP compliant sample preparation. Goodman used mPrep/g capsules to simultaneously prepare 16 grids for TEM from two formulations of siRNA drug delivery nanoparticles with four staining protocols. The grids were then analyzed for morphology and uniformity using TEM. In a separate study he simultaneously embedded four formulations of polymeric drug delivery micro-particles to create eight blocks for cross-sectioning. Thin sections were than analyzed for chemical composition using transmission FTIR and for elemental composition using EDS-SEM.


Videos

Preparing Embedded TEM Specimens for Sectioning

This video tutorial shows how to trim and face an embedded block inside an mPrep/s capsule. The capsule is clamped into a microtome chuck for trimming, facing and sectioning.

1 minutes 17 seconds

Specimen and Grid Reagent Processing for TEM and SEM

This video tutorial demonstrates how to use mPrep capsules with multi-channel pipettors and common lab ware to simultaneously deliver reagents to multiple specimens and grids. The video demonstrates TEM fixation and embedding. Reagent processing procedures are similar for all specimen types and for grids with mPrep capsules .

6 minutes 4 seconds

Using the mPrep Workstation for Oriented and Unoriented Specimens

The tutorial starts by introducing the mPrep Workstation. Then it demonstrates how to load and orient specimens into mPrep capsules. Three methods are shown: pinch, compression and cup.

5 minutes 19 seconds


Instructions

Instructions for using mPrep/s capsules for specimen handling and processing.

A single page graphical display of the three steps to insert specimens into mPrep/s capsules using the mPrep/s insertion tool. Use this guide as a lab reference poster.

A single page graphical display of the three steps to orient and load specimens into mPrep/s capsules. Both compression and pinch methods are shown. Use this guide as a lab reference poster.


mPrep specimen products

mPrep/s™ Capsule Pack

8 capsules, 12 screens, storage box, labels

Product SKU: 22200

$48.00

mPrep/s™ Capsules – 96 count

96 capsules, screens & blank label sets

Product SKU: 22500

$576.00

mPrep/s™ Insertion Tool

Inserts, removes and adjusts screens in mPrep/s capsules

Product SKU: 32010

$25.00

mPrep/s™ Workstation

Prepare specimens and insert into mPrep/s capsules with or without orientation using integrated screen insertion tool

Product SKU: 42100

$950.00

mPrep/Bench™ model 96s

96-well silicone rack for mPrep capsules

Product SKU: 34000

$45.00

mPrep/f 30 Standard Filter Coupler™

16 couplers

Product SKU: 31500

$48.00

mPrep/f 13 Extreme Filter Coupler™

16 couplers

Product SKU: 31600

$48.00

mPrep™ CPD Holder

Holds up to 6 mPrep/s or mPrep/g capsules in Tousimis® CPD apparatus

Product SKU: 33010

$225.00

ASP-1000 mPrep Automatic Specimen Processor

Programable specimen and grid preparation.     Request a Quotation

Product SKU: ASP1000

Reagent Reservoirs

Chemically resistant 15ml reservoirs, 50 per pack

Product SKU: 52001

$22.00

Microwell Plates

Chemically resistant 96-well plates, 10 per pack

Product SKU: 51001

$39.00

mPrep/s™ Pipettor Kit eight-channel

eight-channel pipettor, mPrep/s capsule pack, 96 pipette tips

Product SKU: 43250

$686.00

mPrep/s™ Pipettor Kit single-channel

single-channel pipettor, mPrep/s capsule pack, 96 pipette tips

Product SKU: 43150

$366.00