Ultrastructural Insights by ´State of the Art´ Cryopreparation of Model Organisms

This topic combines methodological development directly with ultrastructural studies of biological relevance. The acceleration of the automatized freeze substitution (FS) of cryofixed samples by means of agitation is a potential source for improvement in the ultrastructural preservation.  We develop agitation module prototypes for freeze substitution and apply them to challenging model organisms. To study the development of brine shrimps, Artemia franciscana, we prepare reproductive organs and shell-developing eggs. Our test of the agtiation modules for mosses, Physcomitrella patens, aims on ecological studies by optimizing the preparation for element analysis in cryoimmobilized plant substructures.

Projects & Patents

  • Project Prototype Development “Agitation Module for Freeze Substitution” Prize 2015 (Siegfried Reipert, 3/2015-8/2016)
    Austria Wirtschaftsservice, Grant P 1404894, Siegfried Reipert (2015)
  • Patent AT 515423: „Vorrichtung und Verfahren zur Gefrier- oder Tieftemperatursubstitution“
    Siegfried Reipert, Helmuth Goldammer (2015)


    • Reipert S, Goldammer H, Richardson C, Goldberg MW, Hawkins TJ, Hollergschwandtner E, Kaufmann WA, Antreich S, Stierhof YD. Agitation Modules: Flexible Means to Accelerate Automated Freeze Substitution. J Histochem Cytochem, 2018. doi: 10.1369/0022155418786698
    • Hollergschwandtner E, Schwaha T, Neumüller J, Kaindl U, Gruber D, Eckhard M, Stöger-Pollach M, Reipert S. Novel mesostructured inclusions in the epidermal lining of Artemia franciscana ovisacs show optical activity. PeerJ. 2017. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3923
    • Goldammer H, Hollergschwandtner E, Elisabeth NH, Frade PR, Reipert S.
      Automatized Freeze Substitution of Algae Accelerated by a Novel Agitation Module. Protist. 2016 doi: 10.1016/j.protis.2016.06.002



Margret Eckhard, 2018, Master thesis 
How to preserve a moss for element analysis? Different ways of preparation for electron microscopy

Elena Hollergschwanndtner, 2016, Master thesis
Cool and fast methods for preparation of samples for TEM