Microscopy Today is an internationally distributed trade magazine produced by the Microscopy Society of America. Each year they recognise ten organizations or individuals who have launched or published innovations in microscopy or microanalysis. Winning products and methods are selected based on their usefulness to the microscopy community, with an emphasis on innovations that provide better, faster, easier, or entirely new methods of analysis using a microscope or microanalytical instrument.
In this article we look at two systems that were awarded 2021 Microscopy Today Innovation Awards, interestingly, both from the Netherlands.
METEOR for Cryo-CLEM from Delmic
METEOR is an integrated top down cryo-correlated light and electron microscopy (CLEM) imaging system designed to optimise the cryo electron tomography (cryo-ET) workflow by reducing complicated transfer steps and increasing sample yield. It consists of a fluorescence light microscope integrated into a focused ion beam (FIB)/ scanning electron microscope (SEM). This in situ cryo-CLEM simplifies the production of cryo-ET samples by minimising the sample handling required, reducing the number of processes and removing several steps where sample damage can occur.
Furthermore, by having the fluorescence microscope inside the FIB chamber, you can easily identify molecules of interest which cannot be done using SEM imaging. Once identified, these molecules can be sectioned out using your FIB without the need to move your sample. Without a system like the METEOR, the region of interest (ROI) needs to be identified outside the FIB/SEM and then re-located into the FIB for subsequent milling with no way to ensure the ROI is correct, while devitrification or ice contamination can also occur during transfer.
METEOR greatly reduces the number of stages in cryo-EM sample preparation , saving you time and money. It will simultaneously boost your sample yields by minimising the chance of damaging samples. Best of all it can be installed into your FIB/SEM using existing ports and requires no permanent alteration to your microscope and is ideal for studies in life science, virology, cell biology, neuroscience and microbiology.
Climate for in situ Microscopy from DENSsolutions
Climate is a plug-and-play system for your TEM that allows you to perform dynamic studies under precisely adjustable gas and temperature conditions controlled by an innovative MEMS (micro-electromechanical) device, the Nano-Reactor, designed for stability against mechanical and thermal drift.
The Nano-Reactor works in a closed loop feedback system with the heating control unit (HCU), Gas Supply System (GSS), Vaporizer and Gas Analyzer. The HCU controls the temperature, from room temperature up to 1000°C with a stability better than 0.01°C with fast settling time. The GSS controls the flow and mixing of up to 3 gases, with the user able to accurately control pressure and flow rate. These parameters can be controlled in real time to obtain any gas mixture from vacuum to 2000mbar. Using the Vaporizer, relative humidity can also be controlled from 0-100%, and nano-calorimetry experiments can also be performed to monitor exo- and endothermic reactions.
The Nano-Reactor has been designed to enable both EDS and EELS and is suited to the study of battery materials, catalysts and other advanced simulating real-world operating conditions as well as the synthesis of novel energy materials.