To access the vitrobots, you must undergo one initial vitrobot training. Below is an overview of the steps required to obtain access.
New User Information
New users who have not yet prepared or handled cryoEM grids are encouraged to watch the useful vitrobot demonstration found here: vitrobot training video. For more information on sample preparation and what is happening to your sample during vitrification, users can find brief videos regarding cryoEM grid preparation at cryoEM101.org
Supplies needed before training
During the vitrobot training, a staff member will go over the set up of the Vitrobot Mark IV, ethane handling, cryoEM grid handling, glow discharging, and safe shut down of the system. All users are required to bring their own grid-handling tweezers, grids, grid buttons and sample to the freezing session, as well as a liquid nitrogen travel container if they wish to save their samples for future use. The facility does not offer long-term grid storage.
We have Vitrobot tweezers you can borrow, but they are common use for everyone and we do not guarantee they will be the same every time you plunge. We recommend you purchase your own Vitrobot tweezers if your lab is pursuing cryo-EM studies.
Requesting and Scheduling a Vitrobot Training
Once you are ready for vitrobot training and have the necessary supplies, you can request the training session in the CryoEM PPMS. Once you have logged in, there is an option on your Home page called 'request a training' (see image below); fill out and submit the training form titled "Request Vitrobot Training". After you submit the form, a staff member will contact you to schedule the training session.
Badge Access to the Sample Prep Room
After the user demonstrates they are able to follow the vitrobot protocol independently, they will be given access to the vitrobot scheduling calendars in PPMS so that they may reserve their own time. Those with Harvard IDs will be given badge access to the Sample Prep lab. If you are unsure of how to obtain a Harvard ID, please contact your institution's administration.