Ceres – Ice Defence System

  • Description


The CERES Ice Defence System was created to help researchers in the cryo-ET field obtain higher quality EM data faster. CERES is the result of the close partnership between DELMIC Cryo and Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany. CERES not only embodies innovations, but also high quality engineering. With CERES, cryo-EM and cryo-ET users can experience an unprecedented high sample yield. Cryo-ET is a great tool for understanding the building blocks of life due to the high effectiveness in preserving biological samples in their near native state and the atomic resolution. By gaining insight into the structure and organisation of the biomolecules, we can also better understand how they work and how to target specific mechanisms leading to smarter medicine.

Effective and environmentally friendly

When you have prepared your AutoGrid-shuttle and you are ready to transfer it to your cryo-FIB/SEM for imaging or for lamella preparation, load the shuttle into the CERES Vitri-Lock through the interface without exposing the shuttle to the atmosphere and keep your samples uncontaminated.

After loading the Autoloader cassette with AutoGrids in the Clean Station, place the cassette in the NanoCab to transfer out of the Clean Station through the load lock.

Longer cold time and safer transfer

CERES Vitri-Lock enables a safe transfer time for up to 30 minutes, ensuring your samples stay vitrified without the need for rushing between stations. The prolonged ‘cold time’ compared with the other commercially available cryo-transfers enable users to keep their samples vitrified and contamination-free even during the lengthy sample screening step. Use CERES Vitri-Lock together with CERES Clean Station to ensure a seamless sample transfer in an anhydrous environment. Once the sample is transferred into the VitriLock, the CERES Clean Station pumps the Vitri-Lock sample chamber down to high vacuum

CERES Ice Shield offers your cryo samples the maximum ice contamination protection during lamella milling in the cryo-FIB.
CERES Ice Shield is liquid nitrogen-cooled and provides cryo-pumping to lower the partial pressure of water in the chamber and sample vicinity, thus reducing amorphous ice growth to a non-measurable level. Did you know that the typical 50 nm/hour ice growth rate accepted by cryo-FIB providers would mean your 150 nm lamella could become several times thicker at the end of a sample preparation session? With the patented, innovative cryo shutter design, your cryo sample is particularly shielded from the contamination originating from the electron column, and therefore preventing condensation on the sample. With the >10-fold decrease in ice contamination rate (Figures 1 and 2), you can prepare many more lamellae before the first lamella becomes covered in ice.



Compatible workflowSingle particle analysis, cryo-ET
Compaticle cryo sample vehiclesTEM grid shuttle, NanoCab, slusher
Humidity level in the enclosure<1% humidity / <1 ppm water
Inner environmental conditionsSteady state for at least 3 months
Anti-humidity methodAir purification recirculation with dry nitrogen gas purging**, load lock and airlock entries
Gas flowContinuous
Air purifierRefillable / replaceable HEPA filters
Humidity level display and controlDigital / PLC
Compatible cryo transfer devicesDELMIC CERES Vitri-Lock, ThermoFisher cryo transfer device
Load lock vacuum pump pressure levelsUp to 1×10-6 mbar for CERES Vitri-Lock, up to 1×10-2 mbar otherwise
Preparation station cooling agentLiquid nitrogen**
Preparation station working temperature-165 °C
Preparation station cooling agent refillInsulated hose connected with an external liquid pressurized nitrogen dewar**
Heater temperature40 °C for tooling shelf and preparation table
Dimensions2000 mm (height) x 2000 mm (width) x 850 mm (depth)


Compatible workflowsCryo-SEM, Cryo-ET
Compatible sampleTEM grid-shuttle
Compatible cryo-FIB modelThermoFisher Scios, Helios Hydra, Aquilos and Aquilos 2; For other cryo-FIB models, please discuss with your Delmic representative
Humidity level in the chamber<1% humidity
Anti-humidity methodHigh vacuum (up to 1×10-6 mbar)
Chamber cooling agentLiquid nitrogen
VitreousUp to 30 minutes
state-guaranteed transfer time
Weight≈ 4,5 kg


Compatible workflowCryo-ET – on-grid milling and lift-out***
Ice Shield cooling methodIndependent cooling system consisting of an on-column liquid nitrogen dewarUtilises the cooling system of the cryo-FIB/SEM
Anti-ce contamination methodRetractable liquid nitrogen-cooled cryo shutter drastically lowers the partial pressure of water in the sample vicinity andprotects the sample from the line of sight of the electron column (the main source of contamination)


Run timeApproximately 5 hours (the exact rate depends on the room environment), extend by manual liquid nitrogen refillEqual to the cryo stage run time
Compatible cryo-FIB/SEM modelsThermo Scientific Scios, AquilosThermo Scientific Aquilos, Aquilos 2
For other cryo-FIB models, please enquire through

your local DELMIC representative.

For other cryo-FIB models, please enquire through

your local DELMIC representative.