Children's Hospital Colorado
Tests and Evaluations
Tests and Evaluations

The Electron Microscopy Laboratory

A man wearing a blue sweater and tan pants sits at a computer with three monitors and a large machine.The Electron Microscopy (EM) Laboratory at Children’s Hospital Colorado has provided local, regional and national clients with a full range of diagnostic services for both adult and pediatric patients since 1968. The high-volume facility specializes in diagnostic ultrastructural pathology and is dedicated to quick delivery of a quality product (normally within 24 hours of specimen receipt).

What sets the Children’s Hospital Colorado’s electron microscopy lab apart?

Experienced staff
Our EM lab team, which includes Scientific Director Gary Mierau, PhD, Medical Direct Dr. Mark Lovell and four full-time electron microscopists, have more than 100 years of combined experience, including experience with renal, respiratory (including ciliopathies), muscular, metabolic, hepatocytic, neoplastic and infectious, and other disease processes. They have authored more than a hundred scientific articles, reviews, book chapters and books on ultrastructural pathology and lectured in more than a dozen countries.

Top-of-the-line equipment
The laboratory is equipped with two modern transmission electron microscopes. (A JEOL JEM-1400Plus and a Hitachi H-7650) and a scanning electron microscope (JEOL JSM-6010LA).

Specialized services
A man in a white dress shirt and black pants sits at a computer with a large machine on the table next to it.In addition to conventional electron microscopy, we also offer specialized diagnostic techniques such as:

  • Scanning electron microscopy for hair shaft abnormalities
  • Energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy for heavy metal detection (TEM and SEM)
  • Tomography for 3D reconstruction of cilia
  • Whole-mount studies for platelet granule quantitation
  • Direct negative staining for virus identification 

Reporting capabilities
We provide technical only or complete professional services. The technical service option offers informal interpretive assistance, with specimen viewing via telepathology possible. A HIPAA-compliant, web-based delivery system enables instantaneous result distribution. Pathologist interpretation is available on a fee-for-service basis, if requested.

Specimen submission:

Please submit tissue for conventional transmission electron microscopic examination, energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and most scanning electron microscopic applications in glutaraldehyde fixative.

If glutaraldehyde fixative is unavailable, please submit in a formaldehyde fixed wet tissue. Depending upon circumstances, a paraffin embedded tissue or frozen tissue that has been allowed to thaw in chilled fixative will be accepted. Ship blood, unfixed, via an overnight express carrier. You do not need to place hair specimens for scanning electron microscopic examination in fixative.

The EM lab also provides fixative and express shipping upon request. Specimens must be shipped with the correct Electron Microscopy Request forms (below). Our receiving is available 24 hours a day as well as throughout weekends and holidays.

Please email us for additional technical information, advice with respect to specimen handling or for pricing information. We can also be reached Monday-Friday: 6:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.(MT) at:

Electron Microscopy Lab
Phone: 720-777-6171
Fax: 720-777-7119

Ship specimens to:
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Electron Microscopy Laboratory
Children’s Hospital Colorado
13123 East 16th Avenue
Aurora, CO 80045

Illustrative Examples
Shipping Instructions
Electron Microscopy request form