A new cryostage design for cryomicroscopy

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The use of cryomicroscopes for the study of cryopreservation of biological samples has been well established. This paper describes a new cryostage design for a cryomicroscopic system able to yield cooling and warming rates up to 18 000 °C min−1. This directional solidification cryostage incorporates design features that enable it to span large temperature gradients and high cooling rates. Each copper base of the new design is a three-piece construction containing a sandwiched thermofoil heater and an internal zigzag flow channel for the refrigerant. Consequently, the temperature of each base can be independently varied between −150 °C and +150 °C. In addition, the new design includes an adjustable gap between the bases that can be adjusted from 0.5 mm to 2.5 mm using attached micrometer heads. The visible gradations on each micrometer enable symmetry of the copper bases to be maintained after each adjustment. In addition to the specifics of the design, this work discusses the surface and thermal characterization results of the stage. Then to demonstrate the performance of the instrument, experimental results with saline solution and the subsequent quantitative analysis are presented.

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