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Home > Press > Software Release From FEI Opens New Territory for Electron Microscopy in Life Sciences

Abstract:
Bio-Specific Applications Provide New Automation, Navigation and Data Processing Capabilities for the 3D Ultrastructural Imaging of Biological Systems

Software Release From FEI Opens New Territory for Electron Microscopy in Life Sciences

Hillsboro, OR | Posted on August 2nd, 2010

FEI Company (FEIC 19.32, -.00, -0.02%), a leading scientific instrumentation company providing electron microscopy systems for nanoscale applications across many industries, released today a set of software applications that increase the throughput and ease-of-use of its electron microscopes for biological research. The four software packages make electron microscopes more useful for life science researchers involved in structural, cellular and tissue biology as they build the full solution from sample to biological answer.

"Electron microscopy has already played, and will continue to play, a key role in the signature scientific discoveries of this century, for instance, in helping to identify the structure-function relationships in biological systems that could lead to improved diagnostics and more effective drugs," said Dominique Hubert, FEI's vice president and general manager of the Life Sciences Division. "FEI is committed to providing life scientists with the tools they need to explore this new territory."

Hubert adds, "In particular, we are very excited to announce a correlative workflow utility that helps to bridge the gap between light microscopy and electron microscopy. Now researchers can use a routine light microscope to locate a feature of interest, and then transfer the sample to an electron microscope, which can be used to easily navigate to the feature and view the cellular ultrastructure. Correlative platforms such as this could actually speed the process from research to discovery."

The new software offerings include:

Correlative Navigation Utility for the correlation of navigational coordinate systems between different types of microscopes, such as optical and electron microscopes. Investigators can leverage the strengths of each platform, for example, in using the resolving power of electron microscopy to image structures localized by fluorescent tags in a light microscope.

EPU is an automated data collection procedure that facilitates the acquisition of large data sets (from thousands or tens of thousands of nominally identical particles) used to reconstruct high resolution 3D models with the single particle analysis technique.

ARGOS (Automated Recognition of Geometries, Objects, and Segmentations) is a 3D template fitting capability that helps to localize macromolecules in their native cellular context and relate orientation properties of these molecules to their environment. It combines high resolution molecular structure information that was determined by single particle analysis with 3D cellular context from tomography.

Extended Slice & View is a 3D reconstruction technique that combines automated serial cross sectional SEM image acquisition into a virtual 3D volume image of the tissue or cell. The images may be stitched together from multiple images of the section surface to retain nanometer scale detail over many micrometer fields of view. The focused ion beam (FIB) cross sections can be as thin as a few nanometers, providing near isotropic resolution in the X, Y and Z dimensions. The technique has the potential to model whole cells and tissues with sufficient resolution to differentiate lipid bilayers.

For more information, please visit fei.com/lifesciences.

FEI Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains forward-looking statements that include statements regarding the performance capabilities and benefits of the Correlative Navigation Utility, EPU, Automated Reconstruction of Geometrical Objects and Segmentations, and Extended Slice & View software packages. Factors that could affect these forward-looking statements include but are not limited to failure of the product or technology to perform as expected and achieve anticipated results, unexpected technology problems and our ability to manufacture, ship and deliver the tools and software as expected. Please also refer to our Form 10-K, Forms 10-Q, Forms 8-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information on these factors and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. FEI assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.

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About FEI
FEI is a leading diversified scientific instruments company. It is a premier provider of electron and ion-beam microscopes and tools for nanoscale applications across many industries: industrial and academic materials research, life sciences, semiconductors, data storage, natural resources and more. With a 60-year history of technological innovation and leadership, FEI has set the performance standard in transmission electron microscopes (TEM), scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and DualBeams(TM), which combine a SEM with a focused ion beam (FIB). FEI's imaging systems provide 3D characterization, analysis and modification/prototyping with resolutions down to the sub-Ångström (one-tenth of a nanometer) level. FEI's NanoPorts in North America, Europe and Asia provide centers of technical excellence where its world-class community of customers and specialists collaborate. FEI has approximately 1800 employees and sales and service operations in more than 50 countries around the world.

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