Thursday, July 8, 2010
4D Ultrafast Electron Microscopy
Electron microscopy has been extensively used for cell biology to explain biological processes. But the problem is that the technique is quite invasive (i.e sample requires metal coating) and it requires long exposure times to average fast fluctuations. Recently, Ahmet Zewail and his research group introduced a microscopy technique that can monitor nanometer structures with femtosecond resolution. More importantly, this method mitigates the problems of cell labeling and challenging sample preparation steps.
Researcher called this technology as photon-induced, near-field electron microscopy(PINEM), where they demonstrate the performance of this system initially to image carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires. Click here to read Nature PINEM paper.
Recently, they also used this method to image unstained e-coli with an enhanced contrast and protein vehicles. Click here to read the PNAS Report on Biological Imaging.
This microscope is also commercialized by the company FEI.