Protochips, a company specializing in revolutionary products for in situ electron microscopy, today announced a seminar to be held on June 20, 2012 at Duke University’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility titled: Imaging Wet Specimens In Situ Using Electron Microscopy with guest speaker Dr. Deborah Kelly of Virginia Tech's Carilion Research Institute. This seminar is open to participants worldwide regardless of affiliation.
With the development of liquid holders for TEM, electron microscopy of fully hydrated specimens is proving to be a technique that eliminates preparation artifacts while providing nanometer resolution of specimens in their native state. By maintaining the sample in its native, hydrated state, liquid cell EM enables imaging of dynamic processes such as nanoparticle growth and interactions, providing highly valuable correlative data to complement existing microscopy techniques. Applications include catalysts, nanoparticles, batteries, dispersions, gels, and living cells. In a liquid cell system, the sample is maintained between a pair of configurable sample support devices called E-chips, each with an ultra thin, electron-transparent silicon nitride membrane to create a static or flow liquid compartment at the tip of the TEM holder. Different experiments often require optimization of the flow channel, and important parameters such as channel size and volume can be varied by selecting the correct pair of sample support devices. The Poseidon TEM holder provides both 2-port, for flow, and 3-port for mixing experiments. By allowing users to configure Poseidon with their choice of E-chips, the greatest flexibility and highest resolutions in liquid are possible, with nanoscale resolution through several microns of liquid. Poseidon is a self-contained TEM holder with external components that does not require any modification to existing TEMs.
Guest Speaker Dr. Deborah Kelly of Virginia Tech's Carilion Research Institute will present her research on capturing molecules and cells for 3D imaging.
Speaker Abstract: Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) performed at cryo temperatures is the technique of choice for gathering structural details of macromolecular complexes. To withstand the vacuum system of an electron microscope, specimens are frozen at high velocity and preserved in a thin film of vitreous ice. While this procedure is highly effective at maintaining the structural integrity of biological complexes, it also traps active assemblies in the midst of performing their functional duties. This results in a static snapshot of dynamic processes. Our work demonstrates a novel approach for capturing and viewing macromolecular assemblies in a liquid, native environment using in situ molecular microscopy. We have engineered a system that utilizes functionalized silicon nitride devices to capture assemblies in a nanofluidics chamber. This chamber fits within a TEM specimen holder and while inserted in the column, is completely isolated from the vacuum system. We demonstrate that this system allows for high-resolution imaging of active complexes within a “nanoscale biosphere”.
Protochips (protochips.com), located in Raleigh, NC, is a company providing revolutionary products and technologies for the in situ electron microscopy market for more than eight years. Through their innovative E-chip consumable technology, Protochips is fundamentally changing the way in situ microscopy is performed. The E-chip platform is the engine that drives the Poseidon in situ solution, providing a variety of liquid thicknesses, flow configurations and window geometries.