Tweezers for plunge-freezing cryo-TEM sample preparation systems have remained the same across all platforms and generations. Fighting to get the tweezer dovetail on and off of the plunger - and fighting with a plastic "O-ring" to grasp and release the delicate TEM grid. NanoSoft's Cryo-Tweezers work with all generations of the FEI Vitrobot and offer multiple features that make the sample preparation process more dependable and effortless for the user. Experienced sample preparation experts will find a smoother process. Early experiences for beginners will become less stressful, leading to fewer lost grids and more successful imaging as they prepare their first samples. And we repair our Cryo-Tweezers for much less than the price of a new pair (click for details)!
* Patent Pending
The Vitrobot tweezers interface with the FEI Vitrobot plunger with a dovetail geometry. The tight mate of the dovetail makes it difficult to attach and detach the tweezers, and is sometimes difficult to control, leading to crashing the sample grid into the ethane cup walls. Our Plunge-Clamp is spring loaded and when opened is easy to attach to and remove from the plunger. When closed in the natural state it forms a tight mate to the plunger. The clamp self-centers to align the tweezers axis with the axis of the plunger rod to ensure that it plunges safely through to the liquid ethane.
Modified Reverse Action Tweezers
The FEI Vitrobot tweezers are positive action, so an "O-ring" is utilized to keep the tweezers closed on the sample grid. This requires you to carefully slide the O-ring up and down the tweezers, while holding the tips closed, whenever you want to grab or release the grid. Our reverse action tweezers hold the grid securely in their natural state and require just a small pinch to release the grid into the grid box. Commercially available reverse-action tweezers are too wide for the Vitrobot blotting arms - our modified version fits easily between the blotting pads without interfering with the blot.
Vitrobot Tweezer Repair
Despite treating tweezers with great care, inevitably, their continued use can lead to damage, particularly to the tips. Damaged tips on tweezers used for plunge freezing make handling the grid difficult, leading to dropped grids, wasted time, wasted sample, etc. There have always been two options: buy tweezers, then machine and assemble them yourself (and hope they don't interfere with blotting!), or pay full price for a brand new Tweezer assembly.
NanoSoft has introduced a new option - send in your damaged Vitrobot Tweezers and receive them back like new. We will refurbish the tweezer tips to as good as new. And if you are sending in NanoSoft Cryo-Tweezers for repair and we can't do it, we'll replace the damaged tweezers with a new pair. Our repair service spares you the time and headache of trying to refurbish your own tweezers, and at a significant discount from the price of new Vitrobot Tweezers.
Our Plunge-Clamp is made from durable, Polycarbonate-like plastic, so will stand up to most use. However, extenuating circumstances can lead to damage. Should your clamp become damaged, we can replace only the clamp for a lower price than new Cryo-Tweezers.