FEI's Xplore3D Offers Automated Dual-Axis Acquisition and Reconstruction for Life Science Research

FEI Company, a leading provider of high-resolution imaging and analysis solutions, today released its Xplore3D software package, updated to include data acquisition and reconstruction for dual-axis electron tomography. The new capability provides more complete information for the reconstruction of complex biological ultrastructure from high-resolution scanning/transmission electron microscopy (S/TEM).

Xplore3D's sophisticated automation and precise specimen positioning capabilities allow users to automatically acquire tomography tilt series images from an initial tilt axis and a second tilt axis, after a sample rotation. Acquiring tilt series from two axis enables users to gain more information from the sample, thereby minimizing the "missing wedge" problem common to all single tilt series tomography. After automated dual-axis acquisition, Xplore3D also now enables automated dual-axis tomogram reconstruction. Its dual-axis capability enables users to generate highly accurate tomograms as simply as possible. Xplore3D is available now and integrated with FEI Tecnai(TM) and Titan Krios(TM) TEMs.

"We are committed to providing the best, easy-to-use solutions for high-resolution imaging and analysis of biological ultrastructure," said Matthew Harris, vice president and general manager of FEI's Life Science Division. "Xplore3D with dual-axis tomography improves the quality of the tomographic analysis by providing additional information for reconstructions. It is part of FEI's commitment to provide wide-ranging imaging solutions for life scientists. Our hardware and software solutions give researchers a complete cryo-TEM tomography package that allows them to focus on making ground-breaking discoveries."

Single-axis S/TEM tomography data suffers from the existence of a "missing wedge" due to the geometry of samples and stage, images can usually only be acquired for tilt angles in a range of 70. In 3D-reconstruction, this gives rise to artifacts and directional dependencies in resolution and contrast. To reduce these shortcomings, samples are often rotated by about 90 in the holder and a second tilt series is acquired (dual-axis tomography). The "missing wedge" is thus reduced to a "missing pyramid." Extreme precision in the compucentric stage is required to maintain the point of interest at the same location within the field of view as the sample tilts during the imaging sequences. FEI's Xplore3D adds automated dual-axis acquisition and reconstruction capabilities to minimize the missing wedge problem and optimize the accuracy of any tomographic reconstruction.

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