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Homebrew Freeze Dryer

This freeze dryer was constructed using a plate desiccator from an old Philips transmission electron microscope. Freeze drying is often preferred over critical point drying for small, extremely delicate specimens. Below is an auxospore of the pennate diatom Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries prepared using the freeze dryer. The delicate "balloon" structure tends to collapse under any other drying protocol. Specimen courtesy of Dr. Stephen Bates, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, Moncton, New Brunswick.

P. multiseries auxospore