Innovative electron microscopy

A central scientific challenge of our time is to understand the molecular machinery underlying cellular function. This knowledge is needed on the one hand to develop future technology in the hope that we humans can copy some of nature’s design rules, and on the other hand to battle diseases, such as cancer, neurological disorders, and virus infections. This challenge requires the development of innovative microscopy techniques.

Our research program aims at developing new scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) techniques for biological/biomedical research. The program includes research on the imaging of biological specimen with liquid-phase electron microscopy (LP-EM), 3D STEM, in situ STEM, and aberration corrected STEM. Our focus is on resolving the locations of individual membrane proteins within the context of intact cells. Secondly, we study processes involving nanomaterials at the solid-liquid interface.

The research is conducted by an interdisciplinary team of biophysicists, cell biologists, chemists, and computer scientists. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Niels de Jonge leads the group Innovative Electron Microscopy (IEM) at the INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, in Saarbrücken, Germany. He is also honorary professor of physics at the Saarland University (UdS).

Research group of Prof. Niels de Jonge working mostly on liquid-phase electron microscopy at the INM – Leibniz Insitute for New Materials, Saarbrücken, Germany.
Photo © Niels de Jonge, 2.8.2018.


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Niels de Jonge
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  • Paper about the resolution of LP-EM published in Nat. Mat. Rev.. link
  • Usage of a graphene liquid cell leads to an order of magnitude higher radiation tolerance in transmission electron microscopy of proteins. Keskin & de Jonge, Nano Lett., early online, 2018. link
  • Jan. 2018: Research project on breast cancer starts, funded by the Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung: “Investigation of the Influence of Breast Cancer Drugs on HER2 Dimerization at the Molecular Level in Individual Cells Aiming to Find Clues for Causes of Drug Resistance: HERe”.