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DiATOME Cryo Diamond Knife

A user note for low temperature, ultra-thin, diamond cryo knives.


Available for wet or dry sectioning with a 25°, 35° or a 45° angle.
Section thickness range 30nm - 1µm.
Cutting edge sizes 1.5 - 4mm.

DiATOME Cryo diamond knives may be used for all low temperature situations, such as sectioning of cryo-protected specimens, frozen hydrated specimens and industrial samples such as polymers and rubber.

There are numerous advantages to our Cryo diamond knives compared with glass knives:

  • They produce thinner sections
  • Ultrathin and semithin sections with the same knife
  • Easy to produce long ribbons of sections
  • Less compression and greater uniformity of sections
  • Time saving. No knife manufacturing, no knife changing, hence no waiting for temperature equilibration.

Cryo 25°

The Cryo 25° knife is designed for sectioning frozen hydrated specimens. The 25° angle results in the least possible compression and the best structure preservation.

Cryo 35° and Cryo 45°

The 45° knife is well suited for routine cryo sectioning.
The 35° knife allows sectioning with considerable reduction of mechanical damage to the specimen (up to 20% less compression as compared to the 45° knife) and, in turn, better structural preservation of most frozen samples (Ref 6, 7, 8).
The triangular holder for dry sectioning and the boat for the sectioning with a liquid (DMSO/water and others) are made of a special copper/nickel alloy. They both guarantee excellent cold or heat transmission.

The seal is made of a cold-resistant epoxy resin.
Styrene-butadiene block copolymer
Styrene-butadiene block copolymer x 25'000, Ronald Walter, BASF Aktiengesellschaft, Polymer Physics, D-67056 Ludwigshafen.


  1. A. Al-Amoudi, D. Studer and J. Dubochet: Cutting artefacts and cutting process in vitreous sections for cryo-electron microscopy. Journal of Structural Biology 150, pp. 109-121, 2005.
  2. W. Liu, H. J. Geuze, J. W. Slot: Improving structural integrity of cryosections for immunogold labeling Histochemistry and Cell Biohgy, Vol. 106, PP. 41-55, 1996.
  3. M. Michel, H. Gnagi and M. Muller: Diamonds are a cryosectioner's best friend. Journal of Microscopy, Vol 166, Pt 1, 43-56, 1992.
  4. P. J. Peters: Cryo-lmmunogold Electron Microscopy, In Current Protocols in Cell Biology {J.S. Bonifacino, M. Dasso, J.B. Harford, J. Lippincott-Schwartz and K.M. Yamada, eds) pp. 4.7.1-4.7.12, 1999. Jonn Wiley & Sons, New York.
  5. K. Richter: Cutting artifacts on ultrathin cryosections of biological bulk specimens. Micron, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 297-308. 1994.
  6. P. Zhang, E. Bos, J. Heymann, H. Gnaegi, M. Kessel, P.J. Peters, S. Subramaniam: Direct visualisation of receptor arrays in frozen-hydrated sections and plungefrozen specimens of
  7. E.coli engineered to overproduce the chemotaxis receptor Tsr. Journal of Microscopy, Vol. 216, Pt 1, pp. 76-83, 2004.
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