NEMINetherlands Electron Microscopy Infrastructure


Prof. Judith Klumperman
Heidelberglaan 100, 3584 CX Utrecht
University Medical Center Utrecht, University Utrecht, Maastricht University, Eindhoven University of Technology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, University Medical Center Leiden, University Leiden, Technical University Delft, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, Radboudumc Nijmegen, Wageningen University, ErasmusMC, NKI, AMOLF, Hubrecht

The Netherlands Electron Microscopy Infrastructure (NEMI) is the Dutch national infrastructure for electron microscopy (EM) and has the aim of coordinating EM infrastructure, innovation and access at the national level. NEMI provides a central access point for EM that brings together key EM instrumentation and expertise, facilitates access for a broad user group to expert EM platforms and provides trainings in state-of-the-art EM technologies. The infrastructure is distributed, with multiple specialized, complementary nodes focusing on particular methodologies together covering Life Sciences, Materials Sciences and Instrumentational EM. The Dutch research community will benefit from NEMI by sharing cross-disciplinary expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, and by coordinating funding opportunities. NEMI will keep the Netherlands at the forefront of innovations in EM and empower EM applications for top-level research.

Electron microscopy (EM) uses electron beams to look into and image all kinds of materials down to the smallest length scale. EM is a highly versatile technique used to reveal the morphology, atomic structure, chemical composition and electronic properties of both biological and non-biological materials. The variety of currently available EM techniques allows multi-scale imaging information from entire organisms or materials to sub-Ångstrom molecular detail.
Recent and ongoing technological innovations in EM are causing a ‘resolution revolution’ in both Life Sciences and Materials Sciences EM with major impacts for the development of novel EM technologies and their application in a broad diversity of research areas. In the Life Sciences, the development of direct electron detectors, improved sample preparation methods and novel image processing methods are propelling cryo-EM as the new key method for molecular structural biology. Cellular biology is strongly impacted by the advent of 3D volume EM and correlative light-EM. In Materials Sciences EM, 3D reconstructions of materials at the atomic level have now become a reality. These advanced structural characterizations can be combined with novel means of detailed physical analyses and real-time recording of dynamic, structural and chemical processes, with major impacts on research fields in physics, chemistry, health, nanoscience, and geoscience.
Top-level EMs come at a cost of up to 10 M€, and the purchase and exploitation of EM facilities poses great challenges to the scientific society. In 2016, the Dutch EM community agreed that EM labs should join forces to implement a national infrastructure for high-end EM technologies. Seven universities (Utrecht, Delft, Eindhoven, Groningen, Leiden, Maastricht, and Amsterdam) took the initiative to establish the Netherlands Electron Microscopy Infrastructure (NEMI). NEMI includes scanning and transmission EM (SEM and TEM) and represents both the life and Materials Sciences. The NEMI infrastructure includes advanced methodologies including cryo-EM single particle analysis and cryoEM-tomography, block-face SEM and cryo-FIB/SEM, high-throughput 3D bio imaging, correlative light-EM (CLEM), atomic-resolution 3D reconstruction, and in-situ, analytical, ultrafast, and low-energy EM. The previously established NeCEN facility for cryo-EM (Netherlands Centre for Nanoscopy) was made part of this new national infrastructure.
The infrastructure of NEMI is distributed, with selected locations focusing on complementary state-of-the-art methodologies requiring high-end equipment and expertise (Flagship Nodes) and a national network of supporting EMs (Regional Nodes, facilitating access to high-end EMs with locally optimized samples). NEMI coordinates the Dutch EM infrastructure and unites Dutch EM instrumentation, scientists, developers and users in a central infrastructure with maximal benefit for the NL research community by sharing expertise, equipment, and coordinating funding opportunities.
Crossing disciplines. State-of-the-art EM technologies require an expensive and a constantly evolving infrastructure as well as a critical mass of high-level EM experts. Both the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences communities face similar needs and challenges for access. NEMI unites these fields and coordinates activities across sciences and institutes. NEMI consists of regionally distributed nodes, emphasizing local specialized expertise and resources.

Aansluiting bij strategische ontwikkelingen
Life Sciences & Health
Personalised medicine: uitgaan van het individu
Bouwstenen van materie en fundamenten van ruimte en tijd
NeuroLabNL: dè werkplaats voor hersen-, cognitie- en gedragsonderzoek
De quantum / nano revolutie
Materialen - Made in Holland
Meten en detecteren: altijd, alles en overal