(Nasdaq:FEIC), a leading scientific instrumentation company providing electron
microscopy systems for nanoscale applications across many industries, released
today a set of software applications that increase the throughput and ease-of-use
of its electron microscopes for biological research. The four software packages
make electron microscopes more useful for life science researchers involved
in structural, cellular and tissue biology as they build the full solution from
sample to biological answer.
"Electron microscopy has already played, and will continue to play, a
key role in the signature scientific discoveries of this century, for instance,
in helping to identify the structure-function relationships in biological systems
that could lead to improved diagnostics and more effective drugs," said
Dominique Hubert, FEI's vice president and general manager of the Life Sciences
Division. "FEI is committed to providing life scientists with the tools
they need to explore this new territory."
Hubert adds, "In particular, we are very excited to announce a correlative
workflow utility that helps to bridge the gap between light microscopy and electron
microscopy. Now researchers can use a routine light microscope to locate a feature
of interest, and then transfer the sample to an electron microscope, which can
be used to easily navigate to the feature and view the cellular ultrastructure.
Correlative platforms such as this could actually speed the process from research
The new software offerings include:
Correlative Navigation Utility for the correlation of navigational coordinate
systems between different types of microscopes, such as optical and electron
microscopes. Investigators can leverage the strengths of each platform, for
example, in using the resolving power of electron microscopy to image structures
localized by fluorescent tags in a light microscope.
EPU is an automated data collection procedure that facilitates the acquisition
of large data sets (from thousands or tens of thousands of nominally identical
particles) used to reconstruct high resolution 3D models with the single particle
ARGOS (Automated Recognition of Geometries, Objects, and Segmentations) is
a 3D template fitting capability that helps to localize macromolecules in their
native cellular context and relate orientation properties of these molecules
to their environment. It combines high resolution molecular structure information
that was determined by single particle analysis with 3D cellular context from
Extended Slice & View is a 3D reconstruction technique that combines automated
serial cross sectional SEM image acquisition into a virtual 3D volume image
of the tissue or cell. The images may be stitched together from multiple images
of the section surface to retain nanometer scale detail over many micrometer
fields of view. The focused ion beam (FIB) cross sections can be as thin as
a few nanometers, providing near isotropic resolution in the X, Y and Z dimensions.
The technique has the potential to model whole cells and tissues with sufficient
resolution to differentiate lipid bilayers.