Cryo Diamond Knife

cryo diamond knifeThinner cryo sections
Perfect cryosections from ultrathin to semi with the same knife

Minimal compression and best structure preservation
Highest quality diamonds and optimal crystal orientation guarantee perfect ultrathin sections and a durable edge

cryo 3d

A single slice of a tomogram of an aldehyde fixed and sucrose infiltrated cryosection with a 3D reconstruction. Erik Bos and Peter J. Peters, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam. (see: J. Lefman, P. Zhang, T. Hirai, RM. Weis, J. Juliani, D. Bliss, M. Kessel, E. Bos, P.J. Peters, S. Subramaniam: Three-dimensional electron microscopic imaging of membrane invaginations in Echerichia coli overproducing the chemotaxis receptor Tsr. J. Bacteriol. 2004 Aug; 186(15): 5052-61

Area of application

The Diatome cryo knives are the perfect solution for the sectioning of sucrose protected samples, frozen hydrated samples (Refs. Al-Amoudi, Richter, Zhang), as well as for industrial samples such as polymers, rubber, etc.

The triangular holder, suitable for dry sectioning, as well as the trough, for sectioning using fluids, (DMSO/water) are both made from a special copper-nickel alloy, guaranteeing the best possible heat/cold conduction. A cold-resistant epoxy resin is used for the seal.

For all cryo sectioning of biological as well as industrial specimens, the use of an ionizer is essential (Ref. Michel).

cryo knife 25cryo 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.


Thickness range: 30-150nm
Available size: 3mm

cryo diamond knife 35cryo 35° cryo 45°

The cryo 35° knife has demonstrated its usefulness as a standard knife for the low temperature sectioning of polymers, rubber, paints, etc.

The 35° angle represents a balanced compromise between section quality and durability.

The cryo 45° knife is well suited for routine cryo sectioning.


Thickness range: 30-300nm
Available sizes: 1.5mm, 2.0mm, 2.5mm, 3.0mm, 3.5mm, 4.0mm

cryo keratin
High resolution electron micrograph of vitreous section of keratin intermediate filaments in the midportion of stratum corneum of human epidermis. The fine structure of the keratin filaments is well resolved and their molecular organization is seen in favorable cases (inset).
Scale bar = 100nm. Scale bar inset = 20nm.
Ashraf Al-Amoudi, Laboratoire d'Analyse Ultrastructurale, Lausanne.


A. Al-Amoudi, D. Studer and J. Dubochet: Cutting artifacts and cutting process in vitreous sections for cryo-electron microscopy. Journal of Structural Biology 150, pp. 109-121, 2005.

W. Liu, H. J. Geuze, J. W. Slot: Improving structural integrity of cryosections for immunogold labeling Histochemistry and Cell Biology, Vol. 106, PP. 41-55, 1996.

M. Michel, H. Gnagi and M. Muller: Diamonds are a cryosectioner's best friend. Journal of Microscopy, Vol 166, Pt 1, 43-56, 1992.

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.

K. Richter: Cutting artifacts on ultrathin cryosections of biological bulk specimens. Micron, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 297-308. 1994.

P. Zhang, E. Bos, J. Heymann, H. Gnaegi, M. Kessel, P.J. Peters, S. Subramaniam: Direct visualization of receptor arrays in frozen-hydrated sections and plunge frozen specimens of E.coli engineered to overproduce the chemotaxis receptor Tsr. Journal of Microscopy, Vol. 216, Pt 1, pp. 76-83, 2004.

Cleaning Instructions

Diamond Knife expert Helmut Gnaegi has established a new cleaning procedure for cryo knives in biological applications. The cleaning works for cryo immuno knives and cryo 25° knives. Download here

Ordering Information

All products can be ordered online using a credit card or purchase order number for payment. Order online:

Diamond Knives and accessories can be ordered by phone at 215-412-8390 or fax 215-412-8450.


Your benefits of working with Diatome

Free customer service

Sectioning tests with biological and material research specimens of all kinds.

We send you the sections along with the surfaced sample, a report on the results obtained and a recommendation of a suitable knife.

Complete discretion when working with proprietary samples.

Re-sharpening and reworking service

A re-sharpened Diatome diamond knife demonstrates the same high quality as a new knife.

Even knives purchased in previous years can continue to be re-sharpened.

All knives can be reworked into another type of knife for no extra charge, e.g. ultra to cryo or 45° to 35°.

Exchange service

Whenever you exchange a knife we offer you a new Diatome.

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Contact Us

1560 Industry Road
P.O. Box 410
Hatfield, PA 19440
tel: 215.412.8390
fax: 215.412.8450
email: [email protected]

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