Benefits and recent techniques for high-resolution structural analysis of large volumes

Abstract number
European Microscopy Congress 2020
Corresponding Email
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LSA.3 - Applications for imaging sub-cellular events at high resolution
Ph.D. Ondřej Šulák (2), Ph.D. Jakub Javůrek (2), Ph.D. Kristýna Rosíková (1), Ing. Samuel Záchej (1), Ing. Jana Havránková (2)
1. TESCAN Brno, s.r.o.

3D FIB-SEM, high-resolution structural analysis  

Abstract text

            Current trends in electron microscopy are focused on the analysis of beam-sensitive biological materials such as tissue and/or cell cultures. Modern design of field emission gun (FEG) SEM columns with its capability to acquire images at very low accelerating energies are the key parameters for efficient visualization of such sensitive biological samples in the scale approaching the nanometer range.

            A combination of the scanning electron microscope with a nanomachining capability of the focused ion beam (FIB) opens a wider range of possibilities. FIB-SEM systems are widely used not only for routine preparation of ultra-thin specimen for analysis in the transmission electron microscope (TEM) but also for their capability of precise cross-sectioning and 3D volume imaging, applications which are possible in both ambient temperatures as well as in cryogenic conditions. FIB nanofabrication is extensively used to reveal sub-surface information from bulk material or to shape samples for other analytical modalities.

            In this contribution, we discuss the capabilities of Ga-based FIB-SEM solutions for detailed structural analysis towards the most recent trends using plasma-based FIB-SEM solutions for extensively large volumes in the highest details. 3D FIB-SEM applications for structural analysis of ER-mitochondria interactions, Zebrafish dorsal aorta reconstruction or human oocytes are present.

            FIB-SEM solution is, therefore, a powerful technique in structural biology for visualization of diverse organelles and tinny structures helping researchers to answer the questions about the basis of biological processes.