Santa Clara, CA (PRWEB) August 08, 2013
Each year, the publication, Microscopy Today under the stewardship of its editor, Dr Charles Lyman from Lehigh University, make awards at the annual Microscopy & Microanalysis meeting. In 2013, the meeting is being held in Indianapolis with awards going to companies in the following product areas: light microscopy, scanning probe microscopy, electron microscopy and microanalysis. Two additional awards go to innovative technologies not already covered. One award for 2013 goes to European manufacturer, Delmic BV (Delft, Netherlands) for their exciting correlative microscopy system known as SECOM. First launched at the emc 2012 meeting in Manchester, UK, the system was displayed on the Nanounity booth at M&M 2013.
The Delmic SECOM platform is an integrated solution for correlative light and electron microscopy which integrates fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy in one device by equipping a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an inverted fluorescence microscope. It was developed in conjunction with a research group led by Professor Pieter Kruit from the Faculty of Applied Sciences at Delft University of Technology. The platform can be fitted on a SEM by replacing the stage door of the SEM chamber. This replacement supports a motorized stage and the objective and light path for the optical microscope. The platform comes with an intuitive software package that is designed to easily acquire both types of information. The software package can also control the SECOM stage and the most important settings for the electron microscope.
Correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) is a relatively new method that combines the information of light and electron microscopy on a single specimen. For the first time, scientists can correlate two different types of information on the exact same cell, tissue or structure of interest. Functional information obtained with a fluorescence microscope (FM) can now be directly overlaid with structural information of the EM. Unfortunately CLEM still is a technically challenging process and there are limitations that make the widespread application of correlative microscopy almost impossible. First, it is hard to find a region of interest (ROI) identified with FM in EM. Second, correlation accuracy with which the ROI’s can be overlaid is limited. Third, transfer between two microscopes makes the sample vulnerable to contamination and damage. The SECOM platform overcomes all challenges presented above by integrating the optical and electron microscope. First, the need to search for a ROI is eliminated since the operator is always imaging in the ROI. Second, correlation accuracy is unrivalled since the electron and light beam axes are aligned to within 0.2 μm, and through proprietary technology an overlay accuracy of sub 50 nm can automatically be achieved. Third, the transfer step is eliminated, greatly reducing workflow time and decreasing the risk of sample damage.
Applications of the SECOM platform are mainly to be found in the life sciences. The SECOM platform is an excellent tool for research on cell biology, tissue biology and thin sections. High quality fluorescence imaging allows for precise localization of different fluorescent labels, while the SEM delivers detailed structural information that far surpasses traditional optical histology results. The SECOM platform may also serve as a potent tool for characterization and analysis of bioengineered materials and tissues. The combination of functional and structural information makes it ideally suited for investigating the interactions between tissues and foreign materials.
For details on the Delmic SECOM correlative microscopy system, please visit http://www.nanounity.com/ and learn about all of Nanounity’s products & solutions.
Nanounity supplies surface science analytical solutions through a range of synergistic products through partnerships with leading instrumentation manufacturers. The core technologies are microscopy, metrology and spectroscopy. Through the strong personal commitment of the founders, Nanounity has built a strong reputation in the USA and Asia providing high standards of materials knowledge enabling the Company to match the requirements of users to a range of tools and techniques. Backed with applications knowledge and customer service support, Nanounity offers experience and skills to help deliver innovative products of the highest performance at affordable prices. Nanounity’s product profile delivers solutions to researchers, engineers and scientists in many disciplines: from data storage, semiconductors, polymers, material science and the life sciences. These tools include compact SEMs, correlative microscopy combining fluorescence imaging with SEM, optical profilers and nanomechanical testing systems that incorporate nano-hardness testing with surface topography. For details on Nanounity and all its products & solutions, visit http://www.nanounity.com.
About Delmic BV
DELMIC BV started up in 2010, based on the idea of the SECOM platform. The SECOM platform is an idea of the Charged Particle Optics group of Delft University of Technology. At the end of 2011 the company obtained the SPARC system from the Polman group at AMOLF. Together, the SECOM and the SPARC systems enable DELMIC to cater to a broad range of researchers; from nanophotonics to life sciences. Both systems are commercially available. DELMIC’s aim is to continuously innovate in order to offer our customers integrated systems that offer superior performance and user friendliness. For more details, please visit http://www.delmic.com.