Transmission Electron Microscopy

The EM facility is a laboratory providing expertise in transmission electron microscopy on a wide range of biological samples, cells in culture and tissue.

TEM allows ultrastructural investigation of organelles and subcellular compartments, and acquisition of high-resolution images.  This technique is applied in different research fields such as biology, medicine, and it is also suitable for analysis of inorganic materials.

This Facility offers (on a collaborative basis) to research groups of CAST and of the University G. d’Annunzio, as well as to external collaborators, assistance for the preparation and analysis - both qualitative and quantitative- of a variety of samples. The EM Facility staff can also assist researchers defining  up-to-date strategies for preparing and analising specific specimens of interest, and , when applicable, also providing  training to external personnel for sample preparation o and use of instrumentations.


INFO Access

Please contact directly the Head of Facility at:


Major Equipment

Electron Microscope:

Morgagni Series 268D (FEI Company, Czech Republic) & Megaview III digital camera and Analysis software (Olympus Soft Imaging, Germany)


The Morgagni 268D is a transmission electron microscope. The Electron source is a tungsten tip and the voltage range goes from 40 to 100 kV. It can be used between 1000-180000 magnifications. The microscope is fully controlled by an integrated Dual Pentium PC using Windows 2000 as the main operating system. It is set for fast and easy, high-quality image acquisition and analysis. Image acquisition is done using a side-mounted Olympus Megaview III CCD camera and data analysis is allowed by the Soft Imaging software.


Leica Ultracut R (Leica Microsystem, Austria)


The Leica Ultracut R produce semi- and ultrathin sections (between 10 nm up to 15 µm thickness) for a wide range of applications. It uses either a glass or diamond knife to cut ultra thin sections of specimens embedded in resins for TEM analysis.

Leica Ultracut R/FCS system (Leica Microsystem, Austria)

The Ultracut R/FCS is a cryoultramicrotome system specifically designed for routine ultrathin frozen sectioning (-15° to -185°C) for TEM.

Selection of recent publications (2015-20)

- Denegri, M., J. E. Rossana Bongianino, F. Lodola, S. Boncompagni, V.C. De Giusti, J. E. Avelino-Cruz, N. Liu, S. Persampieri, A. Curcio, L. Pietrangelo, I. Marty, L. Villani, A. Auricchio, F. Protasi, C. Napolitano, and S. G. Priori. 2014. Single delivery of an adeno-associated viral construct to transfer the CASQ2 gene to knock-in mice affected by Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT) is able to cure the disease from birth to advanced age. Circulation. 129:2673-2681. 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.006901.

- Mammucari, C., G. Gherardi, I. Zamparo, A. Raffaello, S. Boncompagni, F. Chemello, S. Cagnin, A. Braga, S. Zanin, G. Pallafacchina, L. Zentilin, M. Sandri, D. De Stefani, F. Protasi, G. Lanfranchi, and R. Rizzuto. 2015. The mitochondrial calcium uniporter controls skeletal muscle trophism in vivo. Cell Reports. 10:1269-1279. 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.01.056

- Boncompagni, S., L. Arthurton, E. Akujuru, T. Pearson, D. Steverding, F. Protasi, and G. Mutungi. 2015. Membrane glucocorticoid receptors are localized in the extracellular matrix and signal through the MAPK pathway in mammalian skeletal muscle fibres. J. Physiol. (London). 593:2679-2692. 10.1113/JP270502

- Pietrangelo, L., A. D'Incecco, A. Ainbinder, A. Michelucci, H. Kern, R.T. Dirksen, S. Boncompagni, and F. Protasi. 2015. Age-dependent uncoupling of mitochondria from Ca2+ release units in skeletal muscle. Oncotarget. 6:35358-35371. 10.18632/oncotarget.6139

- Michelucci, A., A. De Marco, F. Guarnier, F. Protasi and S. Boncompagni. Anti-oxidant treatment (NAC) reduces formation of cores and improves muscle function in RYR1Y522S/WT mice. 2017. Oxid Med Cell Longev. Article ID 6936897. 10.1155/2017/6792694

- Boncompagni, S., A. Michelucci, L. Pietrangelo, R.T. Dirksen, and F. Protasi. 2017. Exercise-dependent formation of new junctions that promote STIM1-Orai1 assembly in skeletal muscle. Scientific Reports. 7(1):14286. 10.1038/s41598-017-14134-0

- Boncompagni, S., A. Michelucci, L. Pietrangelo, R.T. Dirksen, and F. Protasi. 2018. Addendum: Exercise-dependent formation of new junctions that promote STIM1-Orai1 assembly in skeletal muscle. Sci Rep. 8(1):17463.  10.1038/s41598-018-33063-0

- Pietrangelo, L., A. Michelucci, P. Ambrogini, S. Sartini, F.A. Guarnier, A. Fusella, I. Zamparo, C. Mammucari, F. Protasi, and S. Boncompagni. 2018. Muscle activity prevents the uncoupling of mitochondria from Ca(2+) Release Units induced by ageing and disuse. Arch Biochem Biophys. 663:22-33.  10.1016/

- Michelucci, A., S. Boncompagni, L. Pietrangelo, M. García-Castañeda, T. Takanoa, S. Malika, R.T. Dirksen and Protasi F. 2019. Transverse Tubule Remodeling Enhances Orai1-dependent Ca2+ Entry in skeletal muscle. Elife. 8:e47576. 10.7554/eLife.47576

- Baraldo, M., A. Geremia, M. Pirazzini, L. Nogara, F. Solagna, C. Türk, H. Nolte, V. Romanello, A. Megighian, S. Boncompagni, M. Kruger, M. Sandri, B. Blaauw. 2020. Skeletal muscle mTORC1 regulates neuromuscular junction stability. J Cachexia Sarcopenia Muscle. 2020.11(1):208-225. 10.1002/jcsm.12496

Core Facility Leader
Simona Boncompagni
Simona Boncompagni

Associate Professor

PDF icon Curriculum Vitae


Laura Pietrangelo
Laura Pietrangelo

Junior Researcher (Ric. TDA)


Aurora Fusella
Aurora Fusella



Giorgia Rastelli
Giorgia Rastelli

Research Technician